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Early Brief


Air Force

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The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win in the air, space, and cyberspace.

World War II had been over for two years and the Korean War lay three years ahead when the Air Force ended a 40-year association with the U.S. Army to become a separate service. The U.S. Air Force thus entered a new era in which airpower became firmly established as a major element of the nation’s defense and one of its chief hopes for deterring war. The Department of the Air Force was created when President Harry S Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947.

The Air Force has three core competencies: Developing Airmen, Technology-to-Warfighting and Integrating Operations. These core competencies make six distinctive capabilities possible: 

Air and Space Superiority:  With it, joint forces can dominate enemy operations in all dimensions -- land, sea, air and space. 

Global Attack:  Because of technological advances, the Air Force can attack anywhere, anytime -- and do so quickly and with greater precision than ever before. 

Rapid Global Mobility:  Being able to respond quickly and decisively anywhere needed is key to maintaining rapid global mobility. 

Precision Engagement:  The essence lies in the ability to apply selective force against specific targets because the nature and variety of future contingencies demand both precise and reliable use of military power with minimal risk and collateral damage. 

Information Superiority:  The ability of joint force commanders to keep pace with information and incorporate it into a campaign plan is crucial. 

Agile Combat Support:  Deployment and sustainment are keys to successful operations and cannot be separated. Agile combat support applies to all forces, from those permanently based to contingency buildups to expeditionary forces.

The Department of the Air Force is headquartered in the Pentagon, Washington D.C. The service is organized in nine major commands throughout the world which provide combat aircraft, airlift, refueling, reconnaissance and other support to the Unified Combatant Commands. 

The Air Force also has more than three dozen field operating agencies and direct reporting units which directly support the mission by providing unique services.

There are approximately 332,000 airmen currently serving across the globe.

Pentagon: F-22 Whistleblower Inquiry to Finish

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 | Jul 31, 2014

More than two years after a Hampton-based F-22 pilot's career stalled when he and a colleague spoke out about life-threatening problems with the Air Force's newest fighter jet, Pentagon investigators say they'll complete their investigation of his treatment in August. U.S. Sen. Mark Warner met Tuesday with officials of the Department of Defense... more

Air Force: Stowaway Triggers Security Review

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Associated Press | Jul 31, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Air Force's top civilian and uniformed leaders said Wednesday the failure to prevent a teenager from stowing away aboard a military cargo plane, apparently while on an airfield in the African nation of Mali, was a serious security lapse. The boy's body was found and removed from the plane at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Sund... more

Air Force Looks Ahead to 6th-Generation Fighter

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Stars and Stripes | Jul 30, 2014

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Even before the Air Force's new F-35 "fifth-generation" fighter jet is combat-ready, the service is looking ahead to what comes next. At an Air Force Association breakfast Tuesday, Gen. Michael Hostage, the head of Air Combat Command, said studies are underway to come up with a concept for a sixth-generation fighter plane. Th... more

Air Guardsmen Transport Woman in Labor with Twins

 | Jul 30, 2014

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th, 211th and 212th Rescue Squadrons assisted with the transportation of a pregnant woman in labor from Nulato, Alaska, July 28. The woman was 25 weeks pregnant with twins and had gone into early labor.  The urgent nature of her condition required that she... more

Airman Powerlifts to Fitness

Air Force Airman 1st Class Benny Le

American Forces Press Service | Jul 30, 2014

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. – Twelve hours of patrolling on the graveyard shift drained his energy, but not his drive. The job was done, but the work wasn't. The airman steps through the fitness club doors with only one goal in mind: to achieve powerlifting superiority. He sees an empty bench press. He feels the grip of the iron bar covered ... more

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