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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.

Pilot Sidelined after Criticizing F-22 System

Raptor Hard Turn

 | Apr 20, 2014

The Air Force has spent tens of millions of dollars over the past two years correcting problems with its premier jet fighter -- issues that Capt. Joshua Wilson helped expose by speaking up, both to his bosses and on national television. Since then, Wilson's career as an F-22 Raptor pilot has stalled. A member of the Virginia Air National Guard'... more

'Dilution' Not an Option for Fuel Spill

 | Apr 18, 2014

Air Force officials this week backed away from including a proposal that Albuquerque's water utility simply dilute contaminated water and deliver it to customers as one of the options if toxic chemicals from a massive Kirtland Air Force Base fuel spill ever reach municipal drinking water wells. The dilution proposal, one of several water supply... more

Air Force Athletics to Cut 21 Positions

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Colorado Springs Gazette | Apr 18, 2014

The Air Force athletic department informed 21 individuals on Wednesday and Thursday that their positions will be eliminated as part of the Air Force-wide budget cuts announced in early March. The cuts include nine assistant coaches, four from the physical education department, two trainers, one equipment specialist and one from the sports infor... more

C-130s Take Part in 'Elephant Walk'

elephant walk

Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer | Apr 18, 2014

It's a rare sight to see eight C-130 cargo planes in a line lumbering their way around Pope Field's flightline. Rarer still, is when those planes take off and return to drop dozens of static-line and high-altitude, low-opening (HALO) paratroopers back onto the tarmac. "This never happens," 82nd Airborne Division Sgt. Tory Hoskins said. In... more

JSF Tests against Russian, Chinese Air Defenses

F-35 | Apr 17, 2014

Six Air Force F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft are currently at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to test the aircraft's stealth and sensor technologies against representations of Russian, Iranian and Chinese air-defenses.  "The surface threat is a tough problem because it is a system of systems and the emerging threats that we have right now ... more

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