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.

Air Force Official: Boeing Faces Challenges on KC-46 Tanker Program

KC-46A "Pegasus"

Schedule slips on the Boeing KC-46A refueling tanker are challenging the program, although the Air Force still expects Boeing to meet the August 2017 target for delivery of the first 18 new KC-46A refueling tankers, according to reports this week. Further slips, however, could put the August 2017 date at risk. "Boeing has struggled, from my pa... more

North Dakota Nuclear Missile Base Struggles to Recover from Scandals

In this June 2014 file photo, Capt. Robby Modad closes the gate at an ICBM launch control facility in the countryside outside Minot, N.D., on the Minot Air Force Base. Charlie Riedel/AP

REPORTING FROM MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- A bitter wind relentlessly whips across acres of frozen prairie at this remote base, where hundreds of airmen and women stay on alert around the clock to do the unthinkable: launch a nuclear attack. This is the only installation in the nation that hosts both intercontinental ballistic missiles and B-... more

Drone Repair Program Opens at Tinker Air Force Base

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A partnership between Tinker Air Force Base and San Diego, Calif.-based General Atomics Aeronautical will bring to the metro area the first repair shop in the nation where privately manufactured drones will be repaired by a government entity. An ignition switch component for two drones used in overseas missions will now be repaired at Tinker's ... more

Air Base's All-Female Flight Crew Recognized by Community

About 24 hours into their record-long Global Hawk flight, the Grand Forks Air Force Base's "Lady Hawk" team didn't think they could set their record. "The winds were becoming unfavorable. It did not look good," said Lt. Col. Amanda Brandt, commander of the 348th Reconnaissance Squadron stationed at GFAFB. They thought they would have to land th... more

Air Force Again Considers Keeping or Moving Eielson F-16s

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The Air Force told Alaska's congressional delegation Wednesday it has launched a review that may end with a decision to keep a squadron of F-16s at Eielson Air Force Base or move them to Anchorage or to Nevada. The move follows an announcement by the Air Force in August that Eielson will be the future home for 48 F-35 jets, a fighter aircraft t... more

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