US Air Force's Mission: Decide If You're Ready

Air Force F-22 Raptor United Arab Emirates
Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor pilots, assigned to the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, fly above UAE, Jan. 8, 2018. (Airman 1st Class D. Blake Browning/U.S. Air Force)

The Air Force follows these three core values:

  • Integrity
  • Service before self
  • Excellence in all we do

But what exactly does the Air Force do? Do they just fly planes all day long and laugh at everyone below?


The Air Force focuses on flying, but only a small fraction of personnel actually fly. Most airmen and airwomen work on flight support missions, handle base affairs, protect bases, construct new airstrips, guard missile sites and even do rescues.

Here is a quick list of missions that might be handled by the Air Force:

  • Transporting cargo from base to base for any of the branches
  • Bombing runs
  • Close Air Support (CAS) for on-the-ground missions
  • Jet fighter patrols to protect airports, strategic locations, etc.
  • Airborne mapping & monitoring of targets
  • Maintenance of aerospace systems and planes
  • Base, embassy, airport and other security
  • Constructing a new base
  • In-flight refueling
  • Special rescue missions behind enemy lines
  • Medical service in impoverished areas
  • Food and supplies distribution around the world

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