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Department of Defense

Department of the Air Force

Headquarters The Pentagon Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.

Motto(s) "Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win"[7] "Integrity first, Service before self, Excellence in all we do"[8]

Colors

Ultramarine
Ultramarine
blue, Golden yellow[9]          

March The U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force
 Play (help·info)

Anniversaries 18 September

Engagements

See list

Mexican Expedition (As Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps)

World War I
World War I
(As Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps
Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps
and Army Air Service)

World War II
World War II
(As USAAF)

Korean War

Lebanon Crisis

Second Taiwan Strait Crisis

Quemoy and Matsu Islands

Vietnam Assistance

Congo Crisis

Berlin Crisis

Vietnam War

Laotian Civil War

Cuban Missile Crisis

Congo – Operation Dragon Rouge

Dominican Civil War
Dominican Civil War
– Operation Power Pack

Korean DMZ Conflict

Cambodian Campaign

Communist insurgency in Thailand Cambodia – Operation Eagle Pull

Vietnam – Operation Frequent Wind

Mayaguez Operation

Grenada – Operation Urgent Fury

Lebanese Civil War

Persian Gulf – Operation Earnest Will

Libya – Operation El Dorado Canyon

Panama – Operation Just Cause

Southwest Asia Conflict

Somali Civil War

Haiti – Operation Uphold Democracy Kosovo Campaign

Afghanistan Campaign

Global War on Terrorism

Iraq Campaign Operation Inherent Resolve[10]

Website www.af.mil www.airforce.com

Commanders

Commander-in-Chief President Donald Trump

Secretary of Defense James Mattis

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson

Chief of Staff Gen David L. Goldfein

Vice Chief of Staff Gen Stephen W. Wilson

Chief Master Sergeant
Chief Master Sergeant
of the Air Force CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright

Insignia

Flag

Seal of the Department of the Air Force

Roundel

USAF "Hap" Arnold Symbol

Symbol

Aircraft flown

Attack A-10, AC-130, MQ-1, MQ-9

Bomber B-1B, B-2, B-52H

Electronic warfare E-3, E-8, EC-130

Fighter F-15C, F-15E, F-16, F-22, F-35A

Helicopter HH-60, UH-1N

Reconnaissance MC-12, RC-135, RQ-4, RQ-170, U-2, U-28

Trainer T-1, T-6, T-38, T-41, T-51, T-53, TG-16

Transport C-5, C-12, C-17, C-21, C-32, C-37, C-130, C-40, CV-22, VC-25

Tanker KC-10, KC-135

The United States
United States
Air Force (USAF) is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States
United States
Armed Forces and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially established as a part of the United States
United States
Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. It is the most recent branch of the U.S. Armed Forces to be formed. The USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The service articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated ISR, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control. The U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force
is a military service organized within the Department of the Air Force, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense. The Air Force is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force, who reports to the Secretary of Defense, and is appointed by the President with Senate confirmation. The highest-ranking military officer in the Air Force is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, who exercises supervision over Air Force units and serves as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Air Force combat and mobility forces are assigned, as directed by the Secretary of Defense, to the Combatant Commanders, and neither the Secretary of the Air Force nor the Chief of Staff have operational command authority over them. Along with conducting independent air and space operations, the U.S. Air Force provides air support for land and naval forces and aids in the recovery of troops in the field. As of 2017[update], the service operates more than 5,369 military aircraft, 406 ICBMs and 170 military satellites. It has a $161 billion budget and is the second largest service branch, with 318,415 active duty personnel, 140,169 civilian employees, 69,200 Air Force Reserve
Air Force Reserve
personnel, and 105,700 Air National Guard
Air National Guard
personnel.

Contents

1 Mission, vision, and functions

1.1 Missions 1.2 Vision 1.3 Core missions

1.3.1 Air and space superiority 1.3.2 Global integrated ISR 1.3.3 Rapid global mobility 1.3.4 Global strike 1.3.5 Command and control

2 History

2.1 Antecedents 2.2 21st century 2.3 Conflicts 2.4 Humanitarian operations 2.5 Budget sequestration

3 Organization

3.1 Administrative organization

3.1.1 Headquarters Air Force 3.1.2 Major Commands

3.2 Operational organization

3.2.1 Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force 3.2.2 Commander, Air Force Forces 3.2.3 Air Operations Center 3.2.4 Air Expeditionary Wings/Groups/Squadrons

4 Personnel

4.1 Commissioned officers 4.2 Warrant officers 4.3 Enlisted airmen 4.4 Uniforms 4.5 Awards and badges 4.6 Training

4.6.1 Air Force Fitness Test

5 Aircraft inventory

5.1 A – Attack 5.2 B – Bombers 5.3 C – Transport 5.4 E – Special
Special
Electronic 5.5 F – Fighter 5.6 H – Search and rescue 5.7 K – Tanker 5.8 M – Multi-mission 5.9 O – Observation 5.10 R – Reconnaissance 5.11 T – Trainer 5.12 TG – Trainer gliders 5.13 U – Utility 5.14 V – VIP staff transport 5.15 W – Weather reconnaissance 5.16 Undesignated foreign aircraft 5.17 LGM – Ballistic missile

6 Culture

6.1 Slogans and creeds

7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Mission, vision, and functions[edit] Missions[edit] According to the National Security Act of 1947
National Security Act of 1947
(61 Stat. 502), which created the USAF:

In general the United States
United States
Air Force shall include aviation forces both combat and service not otherwise assigned. It shall be organized, trained, and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained offensive and defensive air operations. The Air Force shall be responsible for the preparation of the air forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war except as otherwise assigned and, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Air Force to meet the needs of war.

§8062 of Title 10 US Code defines the purpose of the USAF as:[11]

to preserve the peace and security, and provide for the defense, of the United States, the Territories, Commonwealths, and possessions, and any areas occupied by the United States; to support national policy; to implement national objectives; to overcome any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United States.

The stated mission of the USAF today is to "fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace".[12] Vision[edit] "The United States
United States
Air Force will be a trusted and reliable joint partner with our sister services known for integrity in all of our activities, including supporting the joint mission first and foremost. We will provide compelling air, space, and cyber capabilities for use by the combatant commanders. We will excel as stewards of all Air Force resources in service to the American people, while providing precise and reliable Global Vigilance, Reach and Power for the nation".[12] Core missions[edit] The five core missions of the Air Force have not changed dramatically since the Air Force became independent in 1947, but they have evolved, and are now articulated as air and space superiority, global integrated ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance)[13] rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control. The purpose of all of these core missions is to provide, what the Air Force states as, global vigilance, global reach, and global power.[14] Air and space superiority[edit] Main articles: Air supremacy
Air supremacy
and Space warfare Air superiority is "that degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea, air, and special operations forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force" (JP 1-02).[15]

First F-35 Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II
of the 33rd Fighter Wing
33rd Fighter Wing
arrives at Eglin AFB

Offensive Counterair (OCA) is defined as "offensive operations to destroy, disrupt, or neutralize enemy aircraft, missiles, launch platforms, and their supporting structures and systems both before and after launch, but as close to their source as possible" (JP 1-02). OCA is the preferred method of countering air and missile threats since it attempts to defeat the enemy closer to its source and typically enjoys the initiative. OCA comprises attack operations, sweep, escort, and suppression/destruction of enemy air defense.[15] Defensive Counter air (DCA) is defined as "all the defensive measures designed to detect, identify, intercept, and destroy or negate enemy forces attempting to penetrate or attack through friendly airspace" (JP 1-02). A major goal of DCA operations, in concert with OCA operations, is to provide an area from which forces can operate, secure from air and missile threats. The DCA mission comprises both active and passive defense measures. Active defense is "the employment of limited offensive action and counterattacks to deny a contested area or position to the enemy" (JP 1-02). It includes both ballistic missile defense and air breathing threat defense, and encompasses point defense, area defense, and high-value airborne asset defense. Passive defense is "measures taken to reduce the probability of and to minimize the effects of damage caused by hostile action without the intention of taking the initiative" (JP 1-02). It includes detection and warning; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense; camouflage, concealment, and deception; hardening; reconstitution; dispersion; redundancy; and mobility, counter-measures, and stealth.[15] Airspace control is "a process used to increase operational effectiveness by promoting the safe, efficient, and flexible use of airspace" (JP 1-02). It promotes the safe, efficient, and flexible use of airspace, mitigates the risk of fratricide, enhances both offensive and defensive operations, and permits greater agility of air operations as a whole. It both deconflicts and facilitates integration of joint air operations.[15]

Launch of an Air Force Delta IV
Delta IV
heavy rocket carrying a DSP-23 early warning satellite

Space superiority is "the degree of dominance in space of one force over another that permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea, air, space, and special operations forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force" (JP 1-02). Space superiority may be localized in time and space, or it may be broad and enduring. Space superiority provides freedom of action in space for friendly forces and, when directed, denies the same freedom to the adversary.[15] Space Force Enhancement is defined as the "combat support operations and force-multiplying capabilities delivered from space systems to improve the effectiveness of military forces as well as support other intelligence, civil, and commercial users. This mission area includes: intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; integrated tactical warning and attack assessment; command, control, and communications; positioning, navigation, and timing; and environmental monitoring" (JP 1-02).[15] Space Force Application is defined as "combat operations in, through, and from space to influence the course and outcome of conflict. This mission area includes ballistic missile defense and force projection" (JP 1-02).[15] Space Control is defined as "operations to ensure freedom of action in space for the US and its allies and, when directed, deny an adversary freedom of action in space. This mission area includes: operations conducted to protect friendly space capabilities from attack, interference, or unintentional hazards (defensive space control); operations to deny an adversary's use of space capabilities (offensive space control); and the requisite current and predictive knowledge of the space environment and the operational environment upon which space operations depend (space situational awareness)" (JP 1-02).[15] Space Support is defined as "operations to deploy and sustain military and intelligence systems in space. This mission area includes: launching and deploying space vehicles; maintaining and sustaining spacecraft on-orbit, rendezvous and proximity operations; disposing of (including de-orbiting and recovering) space capabilities; and reconstitution of space forces, if required" (JP 1-02).[15] The U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force
currently handles 90% of all military space operations through Air Force Space Command
Air Force Space Command
and has been designated the primary service for space. 70% of all satellites currently in orbit belong to and are operated by the Air Force.[16][17][18] Global integrated ISR[edit] Main article: Intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance Global integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) is the synchronization and integration of the planning and operation of sensors, assets, and processing, exploitation, dissemination systems across the globe to conduct current and future operations.[15]

An Air Force RQ-4 strategic reconnaissance aircraft

Planning and directing is "the determination of intelligence requirements, development of appropriate intelligence architecture, preparation of a collection plan, and issuance of orders and requests to information collection agencies" (JP 2-01, Joint and National Intelligence Support to Military Operations). These activities enable the synchronization and integration of collection, processing, exploitation, analysis, and dissemination activities/resources to meet information requirements of national and military decision makers.[15] Collection is "the acquisition of information and the provision of this information to processing elements" (JP 2-01). It provides the ability to obtain required information to satisfy intelligence needs (via use of sources and methods in all domains). Collection activities span the Range of Military Operations (ROMO).[15] Processing and exploitation is "the conversion of collected information into forms suitable to the production of intelligence" (JP 2-01). It provides the ability, across the ROMO, to transform, extract, and make available collected information suitable for further analysis or action.[15] Analysis and production is "the conversion of processed information into intelligence through the integration, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of all source data and the preparation of intelligence products in support of known or anticipated user requirements" (JP 2-01). It provides the ability to integrate, evaluate, and interpret information from available sources to create a finished intelligence product for presentation or dissemination to enable increased situational awareness.[15] Dissemination and integration is "the delivery of intelligence to users in a suitable form and the application of the intelligence to appropriate missions, tasks, and functions" (JP 2-01). It provides the ability to present information and intelligence products across the ROMO enabling understanding of the operational environment to military and national decision makers.[15] Rapid global mobility[edit] Main articles: Airlift
Airlift
and Aerial refueling

An Air Force KC-46 Pegasus refuels a C-17A Globemaster III

Rapid global mobility is the timely deployment, employment, sustainment, augmentation, and redeployment of military forces and capabilities across the ROMO. It provides joint military forces the capability to move from place to place while retaining the ability to fulfill their primary mission. Rapid Global Mobility is essential to virtually every military operation, allowing forces to reach foreign or domestic destinations quickly, thus seizing the initiative through speed and surprise.[15] Airlift
Airlift
is "operations to transport and deliver forces and materiel through the air in support of strategic, operational, or tactical objectives" (Annex 3–17, Air Mobility Operations). The rapid and flexible options afforded by airlift allow military forces and national leaders the ability to respond and operate in a variety of situations and time frames. The global reach capability of airlift provides the ability to apply US power worldwide by delivering forces to crisis locations. It serves as a US presence that demonstrates resolve and compassion in humanitarian crisis.[15] Air refueling is "the refueling of an aircraft in flight by another aircraft" (JP 1-02). Air refueling extends presence, increases range, and serves as a force multiplier. It allows air assets to more rapidly reach any trouble spot around the world with less dependence on forward staging bases or overflight/landing clearances. Air refueling significantly expands the options available to a commander by increasing the range, payload, persistence, and flexibility of receiver aircraft.[15] Aeromedical evacuation is "the movement of patients under medical supervision to and between medical treatment facilities by air transportation" (JP 1-02). JP 4-02, Health Service Support, further defines it as "the fixed wing movement of regulated casualties to and between medical treatment facilities, using organic and/or contracted mobility airframes, with aircrew trained explicitly for this mission." Aeromedical evacuation forces can operate as far forward as fixed-wing aircraft are able to conduct airland operations.[15] Global strike[edit] Main articles: Strategic bombing
Strategic bombing
and Nuclear warfare Global precision attack is the ability to hold at risk or strike rapidly and persistently, with a wide range of munitions, any target and to create swift, decisive, and precise effects across multiple domains.[15]

An Air Force A-10 demonstrating close air support at Nellis AFB

Strategic attack is defined as "offensive action specifically selected to achieve national strategic objectives. These attacks seek to weaken the adversary's ability or will to engage in conflict, and may achieve strategic objectives without necessarily having to achieve operational objectives as a precondition" (Annex 3–70, Strategic Attack).[15] Air Interdiction is defined as "air operations conducted to divert, disrupt, delay, or destroy the enemy's military potential before it can be brought to bear effectively against friendly forces, or to otherwise achieve JFC objectives. Air Interdiction is conducted at such distance from friendly forces that detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of friendly forces is not required" (Annex 3-03, Counterland Operations).[15] Close Air Support is defined as "air action by fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft against hostile targets that are in close proximity to friendly forces and which require detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of those forces" (JP 1-02). This can be as a pre-planned event or on demand from an alert posture (ground or airborne). It can be conducted across the ROMO.[15] The purpose of nuclear deterrence operations (NDO) is to operate, maintain, and secure nuclear forces to achieve an assured capability to deter an adversary from taking action against vital US interests. In the event deterrence fails, the US should be able to appropriately respond with nuclear options. The sub-elements of this function are:[15]

Test launch of a LGM-30 Minuteman
LGM-30 Minuteman
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg AFB

Assure/Dissuade/Deter is a mission set derived from the Air Force's readiness to carry out the nuclear strike operations mission as well as from specific actions taken to assure allies as a part of extended deterrence. Dissuading others from acquiring or proliferating WMD, and the means to deliver them, contributes to promoting security and is also an integral part of this mission. Moreover, different deterrence strategies are required to deter various adversaries, whether they are a nation state, or non-state/transnational actor. The Air Force maintains and presents credible deterrent capabilities through successful visible demonstrations and exercises which assure allies, dissuade proliferation, deter potential adversaries from actions that threaten US national security or the populations and deployed military forces of the US, its allies and friends.[15] Nuclear strike is the ability of nuclear forces to rapidly and accurately strike targets which the enemy holds dear in a devastating manner. If a crisis occurs, rapid generation and, if necessary, deployment of nuclear strike capabilities will demonstrate US resolve and may prompt an adversary to alter the course of action deemed threatening to our national interest. Should deterrence fail, the President may authorize a precise, tailored response to terminate the conflict at the lowest possible level and lead to a rapid cessation of hostilities. Post-conflict, regeneration of a credible nuclear deterrent capability will deter further aggression. The Air Force may present a credible force posture in either the Continental United States, within a theater of operations, or both to effectively deter the range of potential adversaries envisioned in the 21st century. This requires the ability to engage targets globally using a variety of methods; therefore, the Air Force should possess the ability to induct, train, assign, educate and exercise individuals and units to rapidly and effectively execute missions that support US NDO objectives. Finally, the Air Force regularly exercises and evaluates all aspects of nuclear operations to ensure high levels of performance.[15] Nuclear surety ensures the safety, security and effectiveness of nuclear operations. Because of their political and military importance, destructive power, and the potential consequences of an accident or unauthorized act, nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon systems require special consideration and protection against risks and threats inherent in their peacetime and wartime environments. The Air Force, in conjunction with other entities within the Departments of Defense or Energy, achieves a high standard of protection through a stringent nuclear surety program. This program applies to materiel, personnel, and procedures that contribute to the safety, security, and control of nuclear weapons, thus assuring no nuclear accidents, incidents, loss, or unauthorized or accidental use (a Broken Arrow incident). The Air Force continues to pursue safe, secure and effective nuclear weapons consistent with operational requirements. Adversaries, allies, and the American people must be highly confident of the Air Force's ability to secure nuclear weapons from accidents, theft, loss, and accidental or unauthorized use. This day-to-day commitment to precise and reliable nuclear operations is the cornerstone of the credibility of the NDO mission. Positive nuclear command, control, communications; effective nuclear weapons security; and robust combat support are essential to the overall NDO function.[15] Command and control[edit] Main articles: Command and control, Air and Space Operations Center, and Joint Force Air Component Commander Command and control
Command and control
is "the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. Command and control
Command and control
functions are performed through an arrangement of personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures employed by a commander in planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling forces and operations in the accomplishment of the mission" (JP 1-02). This core function includes all of the C2-related capabilities and activities associated with air, space, cyberspace, nuclear, and agile combat support operations to achieve strategic, operational, and tactical objectives.[15]

Combined Air and Space Operations Center
Air and Space Operations Center
at Al Udeid Air Base

At the strategic level command and control, the US determines national or multinational security objectives and guidance, and develops and uses national resources to accomplish these objectives. These national objectives in turn provide the direction for developing overall military objectives, which are used to develop the objectives and strategy for each theater.[15] At the operational level command and control, campaigns and major operations are planned, conducted, sustained, and assessed to accomplish strategic goals within theaters or areas of operations. These activities imply a broader dimension of time or space than do tactics; they provide the means by which tactical successes are exploited to achieve strategic and operational objectives.[15] Tactical Level Command and Control is where individual battles and engagements are fought. The tactical level of war deals with how forces are employed, and the specifics of how engagements are conducted and targets attacked. The goal of tactical level C2 is to achieve commander's intent and desired effects by gaining and keeping offensive initiative.[15] History[edit] Main article: History of the United States
United States
Air Force The U.S. War Department created the first antecedent of the U.S. Air Force, as a part of the U.S. Army, on 1 August 1907, which through a succession of changes of organization, titles, and missions advanced toward eventual independence 40 years later. In World War II, almost 68,000 U.S. airmen died helping to win the war, with only the infantry suffering more casualties.[19] In practice, the U.S. Army
U.S. Army
Air Forces (USAAF) was virtually independent of the Army during World War II, and in virtually all ways functioned as an independent service branch, but airmen still pressed for formal independence.[20] The National Security Act of 1947 was signed on 26 July 1947 by President Harry S Truman, which established the Department of the Air Force, but it was not until 18 September 1947, when the first secretary of the Air Force, W. Stuart Symington, was sworn into office that the Air Force was officially formed as an independent service branch.[21][22] The act created the National Military Establishment (renamed Department of Defense in 1949), which was composed of three subordinate Military Departments, namely the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the newly created Department of the Air Force.[23] Prior to 1947, the responsibility for military aviation was shared between the Army Air Forces and its predecessor organizations (for land-based operations), the Navy (for sea-based operations from aircraft carriers and amphibious aircraft), and the Marine Corps (for close air support of Marine Corps operations). The 1940s proved to be important for military aviation in other ways as well. In 1947, Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager
Chuck Yeager
broke the sound barrier in his X-1 rocket-powered aircraft, beginning a new era of aeronautics in America.[24]

Roundels that have appeared on U.S. military aircraft 1.) 5/1917–2/1918 2.) 2/1918–8/1919 3.) 8/1919–5/1942 4.) 5/1942–6/1943 5.) 6/1943–9/1943 6.) 9/1943–1/1947 7.) 1/1947–

Antecedents[edit] The predecessor organizations in the Army of today's Air Force are:

Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps (1 August 1907 – 18 July 1914) Aviation Section, Signal Corps (18 July 1914 – 20 May 1918) Division of Military Aeronautics (20 May 1918 to 24 May 1918) U.S. Army Air Service (24 May 1918 to 2 July 1926) U.S. Army Air Corps
U.S. Army Air Corps
(2 July 1926 to 20 June 1941) and U.S. Army Air Forces
U.S. Army Air Forces
(20 June 1941 to 18 September 1947)

21st century[edit] During the early 2000s, the USAF fumbled several high-profile aircraft procurement projects, such as the missteps on the KC-X
KC-X
and F-35 program.[25] As a result, the USAF aviation force is setting new records for average aircraft age and needs to replace its force of fighters, bombers, tankers, and airborne warning aircraft, a task made all the more difficult in an age of restrictive defense budgets.[26] Since 2005, the USAF has placed a strong focus on the improvement of Basic Military Training (BMT) for enlisted personnel. While the intense training has become longer, it also has shifted to include a deployment phase. This deployment phase, now called the BEAST, places the trainees in a simulated combat environment that they may experience once they deploy. While the trainees do tackle the massive obstacle courses along with the BEAST, the other portions include defending and protecting their base of operations, forming a structure of leadership, directing search and recovery, and basic self aid buddy care. During this event, the Military Training Instructors (MTI) act as mentors and opposing forces in a deployment exercise.[27] In 2007, the USAF undertook a Reduction-in-Force (RIF). Because of budget constraints, the USAF planned to reduce the service's size from 360,000 active duty personnel to 316,000.[28] The size of the active duty force in 2007 was roughly 64% of that of what the USAF was at the end of the first Gulf War
Gulf War
in 1991.[29] However, the reduction was ended at approximately 330,000 personnel in 2008 in order to meet the demand signal of combatant commanders and associated mission requirements.[28] These same constraints have seen a sharp reduction in flight hours for crew training since 2005[30] and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Personnel directing Airmen's Time Assessments.[31] On 5 June 2008, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Robert Gates
accepted the resignations of both the Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Wynne, and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General T. Michael Moseley. In his decision to fire both men Gates cited "systemic issues associated with... declining Air Force nuclear mission focus and performance".[32] Left unmentioned by Gates was that he had repeatedly clashed with Wynne and Moseley over other important non-nuclear related issues to the service.[32] This followed an investigation into two embarrassing incidents involving mishandling of nuclear weapons: specifically a nuclear weapons incident aboard a B-52 flight between Minot AFB
Minot AFB
and Barksdale AFB, and an accidental shipment of nuclear weapons components to Taiwan.[33] To put more emphasis on nuclear assets, the USAF established the nuclear-focused Air Force Global Strike Command on 24 October 2008, which later assumed control of all USAF bomber aircraft.[34] On 26 June 2009, the USAF released a force structure plan that cut fighter aircraft and shifted resources to better support nuclear, irregular and information warfare.[35] On 23 July 2009, The USAF released their Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Flight Plan, detailing Air Force UAS plans through 2047.[36] One third of the planes that the USAF planned to buy in the future were to be unmanned.[37] According to Air Force Chief Scientist, Dr. Greg Zacharias, the USAF anticipates having hypersonic weapons by the 2020s, hypersonic RPAs by the 2030s and recoverable hypersonic RPAs aircraft by the 2040s.[38] Air Force intends to deploy a Sixth-generation jet fighter
Sixth-generation jet fighter
by the mid–2030s.[38] Conflicts[edit]

The SR-71 Blackbird
SR-71 Blackbird
was a Cold War
Cold War
reconnaissance plane.

The F-117 Nighthawk
F-117 Nighthawk
was a stealth attack aircraft (retired from service in April 2008).

The United States
United States
Air Force has been involved in many wars, conflicts and operations using military air operations. The USAF possesses the lineage and heritage of its predecessor organizations, which played a pivotal role in U.S. military operations since 1907:

Mexican Expedition[39] as Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps World War I[40] as Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps
Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps
and United States Army Air Service World War II[40] as United States
United States
Army Air Forces Cold War Korean War Vietnam War Operation Eagle Claw
Operation Eagle Claw
(1980 Iranian hostage rescue) Operation Urgent Fury
Operation Urgent Fury
(1983 US invasion of Grenada) Operation El Dorado Canyon (1986 US Bombing of Libya) Operation Just Cause (1989–1990 US invasion of Panama) Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm (1990–1991 Persian Gulf War) Operation Southern Watch
Operation Southern Watch
(1992–2003 Iraq no-fly zone) Operation Deliberate Force
Operation Deliberate Force
(1995 NATO bombing in Bosnia and Herzegovina) Operation Northern Watch
Operation Northern Watch
(1997–2003 Iraq no-fly zone) Operation Desert Fox
Operation Desert Fox
(1998 bombing of Iraq) Operation Allied Force
Operation Allied Force
(1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia) Operation Enduring Freedom (2001–present Afghanistan War) Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn (2003–2011 Iraq War) Operation Odyssey Dawn
Operation Odyssey Dawn
(2011 Libyan no-fly zone) Operation Inherent Resolve
Operation Inherent Resolve
(2014–present: intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant)

In addition since the USAF dwarfs all other U.S. and allied air components, it often provides support for allied forces in conflicts to which the United States
United States
is otherwise not involved, such as the 2013 French campaign in Mali.[41] Humanitarian operations[edit] The USAF has also taken part in numerous humanitarian operations. Some of the more major ones include the following:[42]

Berlin Airlift
Airlift
(Operation Vittles), 1948–1949 Operation Safe Haven, 1956–1957 Operations Babylift, New Life, Frequent Wind, and New Arrivals, 1975 Operation Provide Comfort, 1991 Operation Sea Angel, 1991 Operation Provide Hope, 1992–1993 Operation Provide Promise, 1992–1996 Operation Unified Assistance, December 2004 – April 2005 Operation Unified Response, 14 January 2010–present Operation Tomodachi, 12 March 2011 – 1 May 2011

Budget sequestration[edit] Due to the Budget sequestration in 2013, the USAF was forced to ground many of its squadrons. The Commander of Air Combat
Combat
Command, General Mike Hostage indicated that the USAF must replace its legacy fourth-generation aircraft, such as the F-16
F-16
and F-15, with fifth-generation fighters, such as the F-22
F-22
and F-35, if it hopes to remain competitive in the future.[43] In response to squadron groundings and flight time reductions, many Air Force pilots have opted to resign from active duty and enter the Air Force Reserve
Air Force Reserve
and Air National Guard
Air National Guard
while pursuing careers in the commercial airlines where they can find flight hours on more modern aircraft.[44] Specific concerns include a compounded inability for the Air Force to replace its aging aircraft, and an overall reduction of strength and readiness.[45] The USAF attempted to make these adjustments by primarily cutting the Air National Guard
Air National Guard
and Air Force Reserve aircraft and their associated manpower, but Congress reversed this initiative and the majority of the lost manpower will come from the regular Air Force.[46] However, Congress did allow for $208 million of reprogramming from modernization to enable third of grounded aircraft to resume operations.[47] Organization[edit] Main articles: Structure of the United States
United States
Air Force and Department of the Air Force structure Administrative organization[edit] The Department of the Air Force
Department of the Air Force
is one of three military departments within the Department of Defense, and is managed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force, under the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary of Defense. The senior officials in the Office of the Secretary are the Under Secretary of the Air Force, four Assistant Secretaries of the Air Force and the General Counsel, all of whom are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The senior uniformed leadership in the Air Staff is made up of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force
Chief of Staff of the Air Force
and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force.[48] The directly subordinate commands and units are named Field Operating Agency (FOA), Direct Reporting Unit (DRU), and the currently unused Separate Operating Agency. The Major Command (MAJCOM) is the superior hierarchical level of command. Including the Air Force Reserve
Air Force Reserve
Command, as of 30 September 2006, USAF has ten major commands. The Numbered Air Force
Numbered Air Force
(NAF) is a level of command directly under the MAJCOM, followed by Operational Command (now unused), Air Division (also now unused), Wing, Group, Squadron, and Flight.[48][49] Headquarters Air Force[edit]

Office of the Secretary of the Air Force The Air Staff

Major Commands[edit]

Air Combat
Combat
Command

First Air Force
First Air Force
(Air Forces Northern) Ninth Air Force Twelfth Air Force
Twelfth Air Force
(Air Forces Southern) Twenty-Fifth Air Force United States
United States
Air Forces Central Command

Air Education and Training Command

Second Air Force Nineteenth Air Force

Air Force Global Strike Command

Eighth Air Force
Eighth Air Force
(Air Forces Strategic) Twentieth Air Force
Twentieth Air Force
(Air Forces Strategic)

Air Force Materiel Command Air Force Reserve
Air Force Reserve
Command

Fourth Air Force Tenth Air Force Twenty-Second Air Force

Senior Airman
Airman
Nayibe Ramos runs through a checklist in April 2005 during Global Positioning System
Global Positioning System
satellite operations. The operations center here controls a constellation of 29 orbiting satellites that provides navigation data to military and civilian users worldwide. Airman
Airman
Ramos is a satellite system operator for the 2d Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB, Colorado.

Air Force Space Command

Fourteenth Air Force
Fourteenth Air Force
(Air Forces Strategic) Twenty- Fourth Air Force
Fourth Air Force
(Air Forces Cyber)

Several aircraft in a squadron at Hurlburt Field, December 2005. 6th Special
Special
Operations Squadron personnel and their aircraft. The two closest are UH-1Ns; the white aircraft on the left is a C-47T Turboprop conversion (the USAF is still flying the C-47); the white plane on the right is an Antonov An-26
Antonov An-26
(a Soviet turboprop transport aircraft), and the helicopter in the back is a Mi-8 (a Russian helicopter).

Air Force Special Operations Command
Air Force Special Operations Command
(AFSOC) Air Mobility Command

Eighteenth Air Force
Eighteenth Air Force
(Air Forces Transportation)

U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA)

Third Air Force
Third Air Force
(Air Forces Europe)

Pacific Air Forces

Fifth Air Force Seventh Air Force
Seventh Air Force
(Air Forces Korea) Eleventh Air Force

Air National Guard
Air National Guard
(Both a component and a command)[50]

The major components of the U.S. Air Force, as of 28 August 2015, are the following:[51]

Active duty forces

57 flying wings, eight space wings, and 55 non-flying wings nine flying groups, eight non-flying groups

134 flying squadrons, 43 space squadrons

Air Force Reserve
Air Force Reserve
Command

35 flying wings, one space wing four flying groups

67 flying squadrons, six space squadrons

Air National Guard

87 flying wings

101 flying squadrons, four space squadrons

Civil Air Patrol[52]

eight regional commands and 52 wings

The USAF, including its Air Reserve Component (e.g., Air Force Reserve + Air National Guard), possesses a total of 302 flying squadrons.[53] Operational organization[edit]

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Main article: List of active United States
United States
Air Force aircraft squadrons The organizational structure as shown above is responsible for the peacetime organization, equipping, and training of aerospace units for operational missions. When required to support operational missions, the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) directs the Secretary of the Air Force (SECAF) to execute a Change in Operational Control (CHOP) of these units from their administrative alignment to the operational command of a Regional Combatant commander
Combatant commander
(CCDR). In the case of AFSPC, AFSOC, PACAF, and USAFE units, forces are normally employed in-place under their existing CCDR. Likewise, AMC forces operating in support roles retain their componency to USTRANSCOM
USTRANSCOM
unless chopped to a Regional CCDR. Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force[edit] "Chopped" units are referred to as forces. The top-level structure of these forces is the Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force (AETF). The AETF is the Air Force presentation of forces to a CCDR for the employment of Air Power. Each CCDR is supported by a standing Component Numbered Air Force
Numbered Air Force
(C-NAF) to provide planning and execution of aerospace forces in support of CCDR requirements. Each C-NAF consists of a Commander, Air Force Forces (COMAFFOR) and AFFOR/A-staff, and an Air Operations Center
Air Operations Center
(AOC). As needed to support multiple Joint Force Commanders (JFC) in the CCMD's Area of Responsibility (AOR), the C-NAF may deploy Air Component Coordinate Elements (ACCE) to liaise with the JFC. If the Air Force possesses the preponderance of air forces in a JFC's area of operations, the COMAFFOR will also serve as the Joint Forces Air Component Commander (JFACC). Commander, Air Force Forces[edit] The Commander, Air Force Forces (COMAFFOR) is the senior USAF officer responsible for the employment of air power in support of JFC objectives. The COMAFFOR has a special staff and an A-Staff to ensure assigned or attached forces are properly organized, equipped, and trained to support the operational mission. Air Operations Center[edit] The Air Operations Center
Air Operations Center
(AOC) is the JFACC's Command and Control (C2) center. Several AOCs have been established throughout the Air Force worldwide. These centers are responsible for planning and executing air power missions in support of JFC objectives. Air Expeditionary Wings/Groups/Squadrons[edit] The AETF generates air power to support CCMD objectives from Air Expeditionary Wings (AEW) or Air Expeditionary Groups (AEG). These units are responsible for receiving combat forces from Air Force MAJCOMs, preparing these forces for operational missions, launching and recovering these forces, and eventually returning forces to the MAJCOMs. Theater Air Control Systems control employment of forces during these missions. Personnel[edit] The classification of any USAF job for officers or enlisted airmen is the Air Force Specialty Code
Air Force Specialty Code
(AFSC). AFSCs range from officer specialties such as pilot, combat systems officer, space operations, special tactics, nuclear and missile operations, intelligence, cyberspace operations, judge advocate general (JAG), medical doctor, nurse or other fields, to various enlisted specialties. The latter range from flight combat operations such as loadmaster, to working in a dining facility to ensure that Airmen are properly fed. There are additional occupational fields such as computer specialties, mechanic specialties, enlisted aircrew, communication systems, cyberspace operations, avionics technicians, medical specialties, civil engineering, public affairs, hospitality, law, drug counseling, mail operations, security forces, and search and rescue specialties.[54] Beyond combat flight crew personnel, other combat USAF AFSCs are Special
Special
Tactics Officer, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Combat Rescue Officer, Pararescue, Security Forces, Combat
Combat
Control, Combat Weather, Tactical Air Control Party, Special
Special
Operations Weather Technician, and AFOSI
AFOSI
agents. Nearly all enlisted career fields are "entry level", meaning that the USAF provides all training. Some enlistees are able to choose a particular field, or at least a field before actually joining, while others are assigned an AFSC at Basic Military Training (BMT). After BMT, new enlisted airmen attend a technical training school where they learn their particular AFSC. Second Air Force, a part of Air Education and Training Command, is responsible for nearly all enlisted technical training. Training programs vary in length; for example, 3M0X1 (Services) has 31 days of tech school training, while 3E8X1 (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) is one year of training with a preliminary school and a main school consisting of over 10 separate divisions, sometimes taking students close to two years to complete. Officer technical training conducted by Second Air Force
Second Air Force
can also vary by AFSC, while flight training for aeronautically-rated officers conducted by AETC's Nineteenth Air Force
Nineteenth Air Force
can last well in excess of one year. USAF rank is divided between enlisted airmen, non-commissioned officers, and commissioned officers, and ranges from the enlisted Airman Basic
Airman Basic
(E-1) to the commissioned officer rank of General (O-10), however in times of war officers may be appointed to the higher grade of General of the Air Force. Enlisted promotions are granted based on a combination of test scores, years of experience, and selection board approval while officer promotions are based on time-in-grade and a promotion selection board. Promotions among enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers are generally designated by increasing numbers of insignia chevrons.[55] Commissioned officer rank is designated by bars, oak leaves, a silver eagle, and anywhere from one to five stars.[56] General of the Air Force
General of the Air Force
Henry "Hap" Arnold is the only individual in the history of the US Air Force to attain the rank of five-star general.[57] Commissioned officers[edit] Main article: United States
United States
Air Force officer rank insignia The commissioned officer ranks of the USAF are divided into three categories: company grade officers, field grade officers, and general officers. Company grade officers are those officers in pay grades O-1 to O-3, while field grade officers are those in pay grades O-4 to O-6, and general officers are those in pay grades of O-7 and above.[58] Air Force officer promotions are governed by the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act of 1980 and its companion Reserve Officer Personnel Management Act (ROPMA) for officers in the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard. DOPMA also establishes limits on the number of officers that can serve at any given time in the Air Force. Currently, promotion from second lieutenant to first lieutenant is virtually guaranteed after two years of satisfactory service. The promotion from first lieutenant to captain is competitive after successfully completing another two years of service, with a selection rate varying between 99% and 100%. Promotion to major through major general is through a formal selection board process, while promotions to lieutenant general and general are contingent upon nomination to specific general officer positions and subject to U.S. Senate approval. During the board process an officer's record is reviewed by a selection board at the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. At the 10 to 11-year mark, captains will take part in a selection board to major. If not selected, they will meet a follow-on board to determine if they will be allowed to remain in the Air Force. Promotion from major to lieutenant colonel is similar and occurs approximately between the thirteen year (for officers who were promoted to major early "below the zone") and the fifteen year mark, where a certain percentage of majors will be selected below zone (i.e., "early"), in zone (i.e., "on time") or above zone (i.e., "late") for promotion to lieutenant colonel. This process will repeat at the 16-year mark (for officers previously promoted early to major and lieutenant colonel) to the 21-year mark for promotion to full colonel. The Air Force has the largest ratio of general officers to total strength of all of the U.S. Armed Forces and this ratio has continued to increase even as the force has shrunk from its Cold War
Cold War
highs.[59]

US DoD Pay Grade O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5 O-6 O-7 O-8 O-9 O-10 Special1

Insignia

Air Force Service Dress Uniform Insignia

Title Second Lieutenant First Lieutenant Captain Major Lieutenant Colonel Colonel Brigadier General Major General Lieutenant General General General of the Air Force

Abbreviation 2d Lt 1st Lt Capt Maj Lt Col Col Brig Gen Maj Gen Lt Gen Gen GAF

NATO Code OF-1 OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9 OF-10

No periods are used in actual grade abbreviation, only in press releases to conform with AP standards.[60] 1 Honorary/War time rank.

Warrant officers[edit] Main article: Warrant officer
Warrant officer
(United States) § Air Force Although provision is made in Title 10 of the United States
United States
Code for the Secretary of the Air Force to appoint warrant officers, the Air Force does not currently use warrant officer grades, and is the only one of the U.S. Armed Services
U.S. Armed Services
not to do so. The Air Force inherited warrant officer ranks from the Army at its inception in 1947. The Air Force stopped appointing warrant officers in 1959,[61] the same year the first promotions were made to the new top enlisted grade, Chief Master Sergeant. Most of the existing Air Force warrant officers entered the commissioned officer ranks during the 1960s, but small numbers continued to exist in the warrant officer grades for the next 21 years. The last active duty Air Force warrant officer, CWO4 James H. Long, retired in 1980 and the last Air Force Reserve
Air Force Reserve
warrant officer, CWO4 Bob Barrow, retired in 1992.[62] Upon his retirement, he was honorarily promoted to CWO5, the only person in the Air Force ever to hold this grade.[61] Since Barrow's retirement, the Air Force warrant officer ranks, while still authorized by law, are not used. Enlisted airmen[edit]

Pararescuemen and a simulated "survivor" watch as an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter comes in for a landing.

Main article: United States
United States
Air Force enlisted rank insignia Enlisted Airmen have pay grades from E-1 (entry level) to E-9 (senior enlisted). While all USAF personnel, enlisted and officer, are referred to as Airmen, in the same manner that all Army personnel, enlisted and officer, are referred to as Soldiers, the term also refers to the pay grades of E-1 through E-4, which are below the level of non-commissioned officers (NCOs). Above the pay grade of E-4 (i.e., pay grades E-5 through E-9) all ranks fall into the category of NCO and are further subdivided into "NCOs" (pay grades E-5 and E-6) and "Senior NCOs" (pay grades E-7 through E-9); the term "Junior NCO" is sometimes used to refer to staff sergeants and technical sergeants (pay grades E-5 and E-6).[63] The USAF is the only branch of the U.S. military where NCO status is achieved when an enlisted person reaches the pay grade of E-5. In all other branches, NCO status is generally achieved at the pay grade of E-4 (e.g., a Corporal
Corporal
in the Army[64] and Marine Corps, Petty Officer Third Class in the Navy and Coast Guard). The Air Force mirrored the Army from 1976 to 1991 with an E-4 being either a Senior Airman wearing three stripes without a star or a Sergeant (referred to as "Buck Sergeant"), which was noted by the presence of the central star and considered an NCO. Despite not being an NCO, a Senior Airman
Airman
who has completed Airman Leadership School
Airman Leadership School
can be a supervisor according to the AFI 36-2618.

US DoD Pay grade E-1 E-2 E-3 E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9

Insignia No Insignia

Title Airman Basic Airman Airman
Airman
First Class Senior Airman Staff Sergeant Technical Sergeant Master Sergeant¹ Senior Master Sergeant¹ Chief Master Sergeant¹ Command Chief Master Sergeant Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force

Abbreviation AB Amn A1C SrA SSgt TSgt MSgt SMSgt CMSgt CCM CMSAF

NATO Code OR-1 OR-2 OR-3 OR-4 OR-5 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8 OR-9 OR-9 OR-9

¹ The USAF does not have a separate First Sergeant rank; it is instead a duty denoted by a diamond within the upper field.

Uniforms[edit] Main article: Uniforms of the United States
United States
Air Force The first USAF dress uniform, in 1947, was dubbed and patented "Uxbridge Blue" after "Uxbridge 1683 Blue", developed at the former Bachman-Uxbridge Worsted Company.[65] The current Service Dress Uniform, which was adopted in 1994, consists of a three-button, pocketless coat, with silver "U.S." pins on the lapels for officers or with a silver ring surrounding on those of enlisted Airmen, matching trousers, and either a service cap or flight cap, all in Shade 1620, "Air Force Blue" (a darker purplish-blue).[66] This is worn with a light blue shirt (Shade 1550) and Shade 1620 herringbone patterned necktie. Enlisted Airmen wear sleeve rank on both the jacket and shirt, while officers wear metal rank insignia pinned onto the epaulet loopson the coat, and Air Force Blue slide-on epaulet loops on the shirt. USAF personnel assigned to Base Honor Guard duties wear, for certain occasions, a modified version of the standard service dress uniform, but with silver trim on the sleeves and trousers, with the addition of a ceremonial belt (if necessary), service cap with silver trim and Hap Arnold Device, and a silver aiguillette placed on the left shoulder seam and all devices and accoutrement. The Airman
Airman
Battle Uniform (ABU) became the sole authorized combat and utility uniform (except the flight duty uniform for aviation and missile airmen) of the USAF on 1 November 2011. The ABU replaced the Battle Dress Uniform
Battle Dress Uniform
(BDU) previously worn by all U.S. military forces. Airmen who are assigned to Air Force Special
Special
Operations Command, deployed to Air Forces Central Command AOR, certain Global Strike Command Security Forces, and other Air Force ground combat forces wear the Airman
Airman
Combat
Combat
Uniform (ACU) in the Operational Camouflage Pattern.[67] Awards and badges[edit] Main articles: Awards and decorations of the United States
United States
Air Force and Badges of the United States
United States
Air Force In addition to basic uniform clothing, various badges are used by the USAF to indicate a billet assignment or qualification-level for a given assignment. Badges can also be used as merit-based or service-based awards. Over time, various badges have been discontinued and are no longer distributed. Training[edit] See also: Air Force Specialty Code All enlisted Airmen attend Basic Military Training (BMT) at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas for 8 1/2 weeks. Individuals who have prior service of over 24 months of active duty in the other service branches who seek to enlist in the Air Force must go though a 10-day Air Force familiarization course rather than enlisted BMT, however prior service opportunities are severely limited.[68][69] Officers may be commissioned upon graduation from the United States Air Force Academy, upon graduation from another college or university through the Air Force Reserve
Air Force Reserve
Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program, or through the Air Force Officer Training School
Air Force Officer Training School
(OTS). OTS, located at Maxwell Air Force Base
Maxwell Air Force Base
in Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama
since 1993, in turn encompasses two separate commissioning programs: Basic Officer Training (BOT), which is for officer candidates for the Regular Air Force and the Air Force Reserve; and the Academy of Military Science (AMS), which is for officer candidates of the Air National Guard. The Air Force also provides Commissioned Officer Training (COT) for officers of all three components who are direct-commissioned into medicine, law, religion, biological sciences, or healthcare administration. COT is fully integrated into the OTS program and today encompasses extensive coursework as well as field exercises in leadership, confidence, fitness, and deployed-environment operations. Air Force Fitness Test[edit]

USAF Airmen training at Lackland AFB

Main article: United States
United States
Air Force Fitness Assessment The US Air Force Fitness Test (AFFT) is designed to test the abdominal circumference, muscular strength/endurance and cardiovascular respiratory fitness of airmen in the USAF. As part of the Fit to Fight program, the USAF adopted a more stringent physical fitness assessment; the new fitness program was put into effect on 1 June 2010. The annual ergo-cycle test which the USAF had used for several years had been replaced in 2004. In the AFFT, Airmen are given a score based on performance consisting of four components: waist circumference, the sit-up, the push-up, and a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) run. Airmen can potentially earn a score of 100, with the run counting as 60%, waist circumference as 20%, and both strength test counting as 10% each. A passing score is 75 points. Effective 1 July 2010, the AFFT is administered by the base Fitness Assessment Cell (FAC), and is required twice a year. Personnel may test once a year if he or she earns a score above a 90%. Additionally, only meeting the minimum standards on each one of these tests will not get you a passing score of 75%, and failing any one component will result in a failure for the entire test.

Aircraft inventory[edit] Main article: List of active United States
United States
military aircraft The U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force
has over 5,638 aircraft in service as of September 2012.[70] Until 1962, the Army and Air Force maintained one system of aircraft naming, while the U.S. Navy maintained a separate system. In 1962, these were unified into a single system heavily reflecting the Army/Air Force method. For more complete information on the workings of this system, refer to United States
United States
Department of Defense aerospace vehicle designation. The various aircraft of the Air Force include:

A – Attack[edit]

A-10 Thunderbolt II
A-10 Thunderbolt II
ground-attack aircraft

The attack aircraft[71] of the USAF are designed to attack targets on the ground and are often deployed as close air support for, and in proximity to, U.S. ground forces. The proximity to friendly forces require precision strikes from these aircraft that are not always possible with bomber aircraft. Their role is tactical rather than strategic, operating at the front of the battle rather than against targets deeper in the enemy's rear. The Air Force is currently running the OA-X experiment, with the intent to procure an off the shelf light attack aircraft. Current USAF attack aircraft are operated by Air Combat
Combat
Command, Pacific Air Forces, and Air Force Special
Special
Operations Command.

A-10C Thunderbolt II AC-130J Ghostrider AC-130U Spooky II AC-130W Stinger II

B – Bombers[edit]

B-2 Spirit stealth bomber

B-1B Lancer supersonic bomber

US Air Force bombers are strategic weapons, primarily used for long range strike missions with either conventional or nuclear ordinance. Traditionally used for attacking strategic targets, today many bombers are also used in the tactical mission, such as providing close air support for ground forces and tactical interdiction missions.[72] All Air Force bombers are under Global Strike Command[73] The service's B-2A aircraft entered service in the 1990s, its B-1B aircraft in the 1980s and its current B-52H aircraft in the early 1960s. The B-52 Stratofortress
B-52 Stratofortress
airframe design is over 60 years old and the B-52H aircraft currently in the active inventory were all built between 1960 and 1962. The B-52H is scheduled to remain in service for another 30 years, which would keep the airframe in service for nearly 90 years, an unprecedented length of service for any aircraft. The B-21 is projected to replace the B-52 and parts of the B-1B force by the mid-2020s.[74]

B-1B Lancer B-2A Spirit B-52H Stratofortress

C – Transport[edit]

C-17 Globemaster III, the USAF's newest and most versatile transport plane

C-5 Galaxy
C-5 Galaxy
heavy airlift

C V-22 Osprey
V-22 Osprey
tiltrotor aircraft

The Air Force can provide rapid global mobility, which is critical to the heart of U.S. strategy in this environment – without the capability to project forces, there is no conventional deterrent. As U.S. forces stationed overseas continue to decline, global interests remain, making the unique mobility capabilities of the USAF even more in demand. Air mobility is a national asset of growing importance for responding to emergencies and protecting American interests around the globe. Transport aircraft are typically used to deliver troops, weapons and other military equipment by a variety of methods to any area of military operations around the world, usually outside of the commercial flight routes in uncontrolled airspace. The workhorses of the USAF airlift forces are the C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, and C-5 Galaxy. The CV-22 is used by the Air Force for special operations. It conducts long-range, special operations missions, and is equipped with extra fuel tanks and terrain-following radar. Some aircraft serve specialized transportation roles such as executive/embassy support (C-12), Antarctic Support (LC-130H), and AFSOC support (C-27J, C-145A, and C-146A). Although most of the US Air Force's cargo aircraft were specially designed with the Air Force in mind, some aircraft such as the C-12 Huron
C-12 Huron
(Beechcraft Super King Air) and C-146 (Dornier 328) are militarized conversions of existing civilian aircraft. Transport aircraft are operated by Air Mobility Command, Air Force Special
Special
Operations Command, and United States
United States
Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa.

C-5B, C-5C and C-5M Galaxy C-12C, C-12D, C-12F and C-12J Huron C-17A Globemaster III C-27J Spartan C-130H, LC-130H, and WC-130H Hercules C-130J and C-130J-30 Super Hercules C-144 C-145A Skytruck C-146A Wolfhound CV-22B Osprey

E – Special
Special
Electronic[edit]

E-3 Sentry
E-3 Sentry
airborne warning and control system

The purpose of electronic warfare is to deny the opponent an advantage in the EMS and ensure friendly, unimpeded access to the EM spectrum portion of the information environment. Electronic warfare
Electronic warfare
aircraft are used to keep airspaces friendly, and send critical information to anyone who needs it. They are often called "The Eye in the Sky". The roles of the aircraft vary greatly among the different variants to include Electronic Warfare/Jamming (EC-130H), Psychological Operations/Communications (EC-130J), Airborne Early Warning and Control (E-3), Airborne Command Post (E-4B), ground targeting radar (E-8C), range control (E-9A), and communications relay (E-11A, EQ-4B).

E-3B, E-3C and E-3G Sentry E-4B "Nightwatch" E-8C JSTARS E-9A
E-9A
Widget E-11A EC-130H Compass Call EC-130J Commando Solo EQ-4B Global Hawk

F – Fighter[edit]

F-22
F-22
Raptor stealth air superiority fighter

F-15E Strike Eagle
F-15E Strike Eagle
strike fighter

The fighter aircraft of the USAF are small, fast, and maneuverable military aircraft primarily used for air-to-air combat. Many of these fighters have secondary ground-attack capabilities, and some are dual-roled as fighter-bombers (e.g., the F-16
F-16
Fighting Falcon); the term "fighter" is also sometimes used colloquially for dedicated ground-attack aircraft. Other missions include interception of bombers and other fighters, reconnaissance, and patrol. The F-16
F-16
is currently used by the USAF Air Demonstration squadron, the Thunderbirds, while a small number of both man-rated and non-man-rated F-4 Phantom II
F-4 Phantom II
are retained as QF-4 aircraft for use as Full Scale Aerial Targets (FSAT) or as part of the USAF Heritage Flight program. These extant QF-4 aircraft are being replaced in the FSAT role by early model F-16 aircraft converted to Q F-16
F-16
configuration. The USAF has 2,025 fighters in service as of September 2012.[70]

F-15C and F-15D Eagle F-15E Strike Eagle F-16C and F-16D Fighting Falcon F-22A Raptor F-35A Lightning II

H – Search and rescue[edit] These aircraft are used for search and rescue and combat search and rescue on land or sea. The HC-130N/P aircraft are being replaced by newer HC-130J models. HH-60U are replacement aircraft for "G" models that have been lost in combat operations or accidents. New HH-60W helicopters are under development to replace both the "G" and "U" model Pave Hawks.

HC-130N and HC-130P Combat
Combat
King HC-130J Combat
Combat
King II HH-60G and HH-60U Pave Hawk

K – Tanker[edit]

KC-10 Extender
KC-10 Extender
tri-jet air-to-air tanker

The USAF's KC-135 and KC-10 aerial refueling aircraft are based on civilian jets. The USAF aircraft are equipped primarily for providing the fuel via a tail-mounted refueling boom, and can be equipped with "probe and drogue" refueling systems. Air-to-air refueling is extensively used in large-scale operations and also used in normal operations; fighters, bombers, and cargo aircraft rely heavily on the lesser-known "tanker" aircraft. This makes these aircraft an essential part of the Air Force's global mobility and the U.S. force projection. The KC-46A Pegasus is undergoing testing and is projected to be delivered to USAF units starting in 2017.

KC-10A Extender KC-135R and KC-135T Stratotanker

M – Multi-mission[edit]

MC-12W Liberty at Beale AFB

Specialized multi-mission aircraft provide support for global special operations missions. These aircraft conduct infiltration, exfiltration, resupply, and refueling for SOF teams from improvised or otherwise short runways. The MC-130J is currently being fielded to replace "H" and "P" models used by U.S. Special
Special
Operations Command. The MC-12W is used in the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) role. Initial generations of RPAs were primarily surveillance aircraft, but some were fitted with weaponry (such as the MQ-1 Predator, which used AGM-114 Hellfire
AGM-114 Hellfire
air-to-ground missiles). An armed RPA is known as an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV).

MC-12W Liberty MC-130H Combat
Combat
Talon II MC-130J Commando II MC-130P Combat
Combat
Shadow MQ-1B Predator MQ-9B Reaper

MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle

O – Observation[edit]

US Air Force OC-135 OPEN SKIES aircraft landing at Offutt AFB, Nebraska.

These aircraft are modified to observe (through visual or other means) and report tactical information concerning composition and disposition of forces. The OC-135 is specifically designed to support the Treaty on Open Skies by observing bases and operations of party members under the 2002 signed treaty.

OC-135B Open Skies

R – Reconnaissance[edit]

Lockheed U-2
Lockheed U-2
spy plane

The reconnaissance aircraft of the USAF are used for monitoring enemy activity, originally carrying no armament. Although the U-2 is designated as a 'utility' aircraft, it is a reconnaissance platform. The roles of the aircraft vary greatly among the different variants to include general monitoring (RC-26B), Ballistic missile monitoring (RC-135S), Electronic Intelligence gathering (RC-135U), Signal Intelligence gathering (RC-135V/W), and high altitude surveillance (U-2) Several unmanned remotely controlled reconnaissance aircraft (RPAs), have been developed and deployed. Recently, the RPAs have been seen to offer the possibility of cheaper, more capable fighting machines that can be used without risk to aircrews.

RC-26B RC-135S Cobra Ball RC-135U Combat
Combat
Sent RC-135V and RC-135W Rivet Joint RQ-4B Global Hawk RQ-11 Raven RQ-170 Sentinel U-2S "Dragon Lady"

RQ-170 Sentinel
RQ-170 Sentinel
stealth unmanned aerial vehicle reconnaissance aircraft

T – Trainer[edit] The Air Force's trainer aircraft are used to train pilots, combat systems officers, and other aircrew in their duties.

T-1A Jayhawk T-6A Texan II T-38A, T-38B, T-38C, and AT-38B Talon

TG – Trainer gliders[edit] Several gliders are used by the USAF, primarily used for cadet flying training at the U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force
Academy.

TG-15A TG-15B

U – Utility[edit] Utility aircraft
Utility aircraft
are used basically for what they are needed for at the time. For example, a Huey may be used to transport personnel around a large base or launch site, while it can also be used for evacuation. These aircraft are all around use aircraft.

U-28A UH-1N Iroquois UV-18B Twin Otter

V – VIP staff transport[edit]

VC-25A (Air Force One)

These aircraft are used for the transportation of Very Important Persons (VIPs). Notable people include the President, Vice President, Cabinet secretaries, government officials (e.g., senators and representatives), the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other key personnel.

VC-25A (two used as Air Force One) C-20A, C20B, C20C, C-20G and C20H C-21A Learjet C-32A and C-32B C-37A and C-37B C-38A Courier C-40B and C-40C

W – Weather reconnaissance[edit]

A WC-130J Hercules from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron

These aircraft are used to study meteorological events such as hurricanes and typhoons.

WC-130J Hurricane Hunter WC-135C and WC-135W Constant Phoenix

Undesignated foreign aircraft[edit]

CN-235-100[75] (427th Special
Special
Operations Squadron)

An unarmed Minuteman III ICBM
ICBM
shoots out of the silo during an operational test launch

LGM – Ballistic missile[edit]

LGM-30G Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

Culture[edit] The culture of the United States
United States
Air Force is primarily driven by pilots and so the pilots of various aircraft types have driven its priorities over the years. At first there was a focus on bombers (driven originally by the Bomber
Bomber
Mafia), followed by a focus on fighters ( Fighter Mafia and following).[76][77][78] In response to the 2007 United States
United States
Air Force nuclear weapons incident, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Robert Gates
accepted in June 2009 the resignations of Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne
Michael Wynne
and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force General T. Michael Moseley. Moseley's successor, General Norton A. Schwartz, a former airlift and special operations pilot was the first officer appointed to that position who did not have a background as a fighter or bomber pilot.[79] The Washington Post reported in 2010 that General Schwartz began to dismantle the rigid class system of the USAF, particularly in the officer corps.[80] In 2014, following morale and testing/cheating scandals in the Air Force's missile launch officer community, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James
Deborah Lee James
admitted that there remained a "systemic problem" in the USAF's management of the nuclear mission.[81] Daniel L. Magruder, Jr defines USAF culture as a combination of the rigorous application of advanced technology, individualism and progressive airpower theory.[82] Major General
Major General
Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. adds that the U.S. Air Force's culture also includes an egalitarianism bred from officers perceiving themselves as their service's principal "warriors" working with small groups of enlisted airmen either as the service crew or the onboard crew of their aircraft. Air Force officers have never felt they needed the formal social "distance" from their enlisted force that is common in the other U.S. armed services. Although the paradigm is changing, for most of its history, the Air Force, completely unlike its sister services, has been an organization in which mostly its officers fought, not its enlisted force, the latter being primarily a rear echelon support force. When the enlisted force did go into harm's way, such as crew members of multi-crewed aircraft, the close comradeship of shared risk in tight quarters created traditions that shaped a somewhat different kind of officer/enlisted relationship than exists elsewhere in the military.[83] Cultural and career issues in the U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force
have been cited as one of the reasons for the shortfall in needed UAV operators.[84] In spite of an urgent need for UAVs or drones to provide round the clock coverage for American troops during the Iraq War,[85] the USAF did not establish a new career field for piloting them until the last year of that war and in 2014 changed its RPA training syllabus again, in the face of large aircraft losses in training,[86] and in response to a GAO report critical of handling of drone programs.[87] Paul Scharre has reported that the cultural divide between the USAF and US Army has kept both services from adopting each other's drone handing innovations.[88] Many of the U.S. Air Force's formal and informal traditions are an amalgamation of those taken from the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
(e.g., dining-ins/mess nights) or the experiences of its predecessor organizations such as the U.S. Army
U.S. Army
Air Service, U.S. Army
U.S. Army
Air Corps and the U.S. Army
U.S. Army
Air Forces. Some of these traditions range from "Friday Name Tags" in flying units to an annual "Mustache Month". The use of "challenge coins" dates back to World War I
World War I
when a member of one of the aero squadrons bought his entire unit medallions with their emblem,[89] while another cultural tradition unique to the Air Force is the "roof stomp", practiced by Airmen to welcome a new commander or to commemorate another event, such as a retirement. Slogans and creeds[edit] The United States
United States
Air Force has had numerous recruiting slogans including "No One Comes Close" and Uno Ab Alto ("One From on High"). For many years, the U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force
used "Aim High" as its recruiting slogan;[90][91][92] more recently, they have used "Cross into the Blue", "We've been waiting for you" and "Do Something Amazing",[93] "Above All",[94] and the newest one, as of 7 October 2010, considered a call and response, "Aim high" followed with the response, "Fly-Fight-Win"[95] Each wing, group, or squadron usually has its own slogan(s). Information and logos can usually be found on the wing, group, or squadron websites.[96] The Air Force Core Values are: "Integrity first, Service before self, "Excellence in all we do", sometimes stated as "Integrity. Service. Excellence."[97][98] The Airman's Creed is a statement introduced in early 2007 to summarize the culture of the Air Force. To help further knowledge of their mission and functions, the Air Force has also produced videos, such as "Setting the Conditions for Victory" and "How We Fight",[99] to outline the Air Force role in the war on terrorism and how the service succeeds in its domains of air, space, and cyberspace. The Above All campaign continues to support the message of "air, space and cyberspace" dominance.[94] See also[edit]

Military of the United States
United States
portal United States
United States
Air Force portal

Air Force Association Air Force Combat
Combat
Ammunition Center Air Force Knowledge Now Company Grade Officers' Council Department of the Air Force
Department of the Air Force
Police Future military aircraft of the United States List of active United States
United States
military aircraft List of United States
United States
Air Force installations List of United States
United States
Airmen List of U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force
acronyms and expressions National Museum of the United States
United States
Air Force Structure of the United States
United States
Air Force United States
United States
Air Force Band United States
United States
Air Force Chaplain Corps United States
United States
Air Force Combat
Combat
Control Team United States
United States
Air Force Medical Service United States
United States
Air Force Thunderbirds Women in the United States
United States
Air Force

References[edit]

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United States
Air Force. 24 March 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 September 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2017.  ^ http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/af_a1/publication/afi34-1201/afi34-1201.pdf ^ "10 USC 8062". Law.cornell.edu. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2010.  ^ a b "Air Force Welcome Page". Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2016.  ^ http://www.doctrine.af.mil/Portals/61/documents/Annex_2-0/2-0-D01-ISR-Introduction.pdf ^ http://www.airforcemag.com/DocumentFile/Documents/2015/Future_Operating_Concept.pdf ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Air Force Basic Doctrine, Organization, and Command Archived 18 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. (PDF), 14 October 2011 ^ "Defense bill would make key changes in space command but stop short of new branch".  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2017.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 September 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2017.  ^ Robert Pitta, Gordon Rottman, Jeff Fannell (1993). US Army Air Force (1) Archived 28 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. Osprey Publishing. p. 3. ISBN 1-85532-295-1 ^ "The Army Air Forces in World War II
World War II
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National Security Act of 1947
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United States
Air Force. United States of America: McFarland. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-7864-4758-9. [permanent dead link] ^ Francis, Mike. "The gang that couldn't fly straight." Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. The Oregonian, 22 November 2010 ^ Bennett, John T. "Panetta Selects Trusted Hand for New Air Force Chief." Archived 29 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine. U.S. News & World Report, 14 May 2012. ^ "Air Force Basic Military Training – Home". af.mil. Archived from the original on 8 April 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.  ^ a b Needed: 200 New Aircraft a Year Archived 20 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine., Air Force Magazine, October 2008. ^ "2008 USAF Almanac: People" (PDF). AIR FORCE Magazine. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.  1991: 510,000; 2007: 328,600 ^ "Air Force Magazine". wayback.archive-it.org. Archived from the original on 2017-05-24.  ^ Maj. Timothy Farr. "Airmen's time tour makes follow-up visits". Af.mil. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2010.  ^ a b "The Gates Case" (PDF) (July 2008). Air Force Magazine. Air Force Magazine. July 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.  ^ "Washington watch" Archived 20 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine., AIR FORCE Magazine, July 2008, Vol. 91 No. 7, pp. 8. ^ Chavanne, Bettina H. "USAF Creates Global Strike Command" Archived 11 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. Aviation Week, 24 October 2008. ^ "Plan reshapes U.S. air power". Airforcetimes.com. Retrieved 30 August 2010.  ^ Gerry J. Gilmore. "Unmanned aircraft take on increased importance". Af.mil. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2010.  ^ 7 October 2009— (7 October 2009). "Future U.S. Defense Needs in a High Technology Present – Up Front Blog – Brookings Institution". Brookings.edu. Archived from the original on 26 October 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.  ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.  ^ https://media.defense.gov/2010/Oct/06/2001329754/-1/-1/0/AFD-101006-029.pdf ^ a b "Air Force Pamphlet 36-2241"[dead link]. USAF, 1 July 2007. ^ "USAF to help transport French troops to Mali". airforcetimes.com. Retrieved 1 April 2015.  ^ The primary source for the humanitarian operations of the USAF is the United States
United States
Air Force Supervisory Examination Study Guide (2005) ^ Tegler, Eric (28 October 2013). "ACC Gen. Mike Hostage Says Recapitalization Is Best of Bad Options". defensemedianetwork.com. Defense Media Network. Archived from the original on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2013.  ^ Shoop, Tom (14 November 2013). "Fanning: Air Force Having Trouble Keeping Pilots, and Pay Isn't the Problem". defenseone.com. National Journal Group, Inc. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.  ^ "Air Force's aging fleet gets no relief from budget cuts". daytondailynews.com. Archived from the original on 14 May 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.  ^ Ignatius, David (1 July 2013). "Politics tops public interest". heraldtribune.com. HeraldTribune. Archived from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2013.  ^ "AF lifts grounding of combat squadrons, Thunderbirds". Military Times. Archived from the original on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.  ^ a b http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Magazine%20Documents/2013/May%202013/0513MC_RC.pdf ^ "What Is the Organizational Structure of the Air Force?".  ^ https://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/OLH_2015_Ch23.pdf ^ "2007 USAF Almanac: Major Commands" (PDF). AIR FORCE Magazine. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 February 2008. Retrieved 9 February 2008.  ^ " Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol
joins total force 'Airmen' > U.S. Air Force > Article Display". Af.mil. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.  ^ "2007 USAF Almanac: USAF Squadrons By Mission Type" (PDF). AIR FORCE Magazine. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 December 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2008.  ^ " Air Force Specialty Code
Air Force Specialty Code
Information" (PDF). United States
United States
Air Force. July 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 September 2008.  ^ "Enlisted Air Force Ranks". Military.com. Military.com. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.  ^ "Air Force Officer Ranks". Military.com. Military.com. Archived from the original on 22 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.  ^ "Five Star Generals and Admirals of the United States". The History Guy. The History Guy. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.  ^ United States
United States
Air Force officer rank insignia ^ Schwellenbach, Nick. "Brass Creep and the Pentagon: Air Force Leads the Way As Top Offender." Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. POGO, 25 April 2011. ^ http://www.publicaffairs.af.mil/Portals/1/documents/DoD%20Captioning%20Style%20Guide%20141017%20(3).pdf ^ a b "Warrant Officer Programs of Other Services". United States
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Army Warrant Officer Association. Archived from the original on 30 December 2006. Retrieved 18 March 2007.  ^ "Warrant Officers of the US Military". Militaryranks.us. 16 November 2006. Archived from the original on 18 June 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.  ^ "Department of Defense Enlisted Rank Insignias". Defenselink.mil. Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2010.  ^ However, the Army has dual ranks at the E-4 paygrade with Specialists not considered NCOs. Since the 1980s, the Army corporal rank has come to be awarded infrequently and is rarely found in modern units. ^ "Getting the Blues, by Tech. Sgt. Pat McKenna". Air Force Link. Archived from the original on 2 February 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2007.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2017.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.  ^ a b "USAF Almanac, The Air Force in Facts and Figures" (PDF). Air Force Magazine. May 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.  ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2017.  ^ "B-1B Bombers Are The Aerial Weapon of Choice For Supporting Iraq's Ramadi Offensive". Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.  ^ Gorrell, Mike. "Northrop Grumman celebrates bomber contract in Utah". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016.  ^ "Photos: Airtech CN-235 Aircraft Pictures". Airliners.net. 23 December 2004. Retrieved 30 August 2010.  ^ "Air Force Culture and Conventional Strategic Airpower". Stormingmedia.us. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2010.  ^ Thompson, Mark (8 July 2013). "The Air Force's Future May Be in Drones, But Its Generals Won't Be". Time. Archived from the original on 12 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.  ^ Worden, Michael (November 1997). "The Rise of the Fighter Generals". dtic.mil. Air University Press. Retrieved 12 March 2014.  ^ Barnes, Julian E.; Spiegel, Peter (10 June 2008). "A different type of Air Force leader". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 August 2010.  ^ Jaffe, Greg (27 February 2010). " Combat
Combat
Generation: Drone operators climb on winds of change in the Air Force". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2010.  ^ Everstine, Brian (29 January 2014). "James: AF is addressing 'systemic' problem in nuclear force". airforcetimes.com. Gannett Government Media. Retrieved 29 January 2014.  ^ Magruder, Jr., Daniel L. (2009). "The US Air Force and Irregular Warfare: Success as a Hurdle" (PDF). Small Wars Journal. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2015.  ^ "Understanding Airmen: A primer for soldiers" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011.  ^ "US Air Force Lacks Volunteers To Operate Drones". Defense News. Retrieved 1 April 2015.  ^ Whitlock, Craig (13 November 2013). "Drone combat missions may be scaled back eventually, Air Force chief says". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  ^ Wasserbly, Daniel (12 May 2014). "AUVSI 2014: USAF looking to refine RPA training regime, reduce accidents". janes.com. IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  ^ Cox, Matthew (24 April 2014). "Air Force Criticized for Mismanaging Drone Program". military.com. A Monster Company. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  ^ Scharre, Paul (29 July 2014). "How to Lose the Robotics Revolution". warontherocks.com. War on the Rocks. Archived from the original on 29 July 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.  ^ "A Brief History of Challenge Coins". 26 September 2012.  ^ "Aim High Air Force commercial 1980s". YouTube. 8 September 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2016.  ^ "The Air Force Hymn". YouTube. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2016.  ^ "US National Anthem – Air Force / TV Sign off". YouTube. 9 March 2008. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2016.  ^ ""Do Something Amazing" web site". Dosomethingamazing.com. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.  ^ a b "Air Force rolls out new advertising campaign", Airforcetimes.com, 20 February 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2012 ^ "Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win". Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2010.  ^ US Air Force Mottos Archived 5 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. Military-quotes.com. Retrieved 4 June 2006. ^ Our Mission – Learn About The U.S. Air Force
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Archived 16 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. AirForce.com. ^ http://www.citadel.edu/root/images/airforce/as300_l34_af_core_values_case_studies_11.ppt ^ "'Setting the Conditions for Victory' video premieres online". USAF, 3 October 2007

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B - Strategic bomber

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Support/CQB

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Organization

Service departments

Department of Defense (Secretary): Army (Secretary) Navy (Secretary) Air Force (Secretary) Department of Homeland Security (Secretary): Coast Guard

Branches

Army (Chief of Staff) Marine Corps (Commandant) Navy (Chief of Naval Operations) Air Force (Chief of Staff) Coast Guard (Commandant)

Reserve components

Reserves:

A MC N AF CG

National Guard:

A AF

Civilian auxiliaries

Military Auxiliary Radio System Merchant Marine Civil Air Patrol Coast Guard Auxiliary

Unified Combatant Command

Northern Central European Pacific Southern Africa Special
Special
Operations Strategic Transportation

Structure

United States
United States
Code

Title 10 Title 14 Title 32 Title 50

The Pentagon Installations Units:

A MC N AF CG

Logistics Media Unit mottoes

Operations and history

Current deployments Conflicts Wars Timeline History:

A MC N AF CG

Colonial World War II Civil affairs Officers' clubs African Americans Asian Americans Buddhist Americans Jewish Americans Muslim Americans Pakistani Americans Sikh Americans Historiography:

Army Center of Military History MC History Division Naval History and Heritage Command Air Force Historical Research Agency

American official war artists:

Army Art Program AF Art Program

Personnel

Training

MEPS ASVAB Recruit training:

A MC N AF CG

Officer candidate school:

A MC N AF

Warrant:

A MC

Service academies:

A (prep) N (prep) AF (prep) CG Merchant Marine

ROTC

A:ECP MC/N AF

Medical Other education

Uniforms

Uniforms:

A MC N AF CG

Awards & decorations:

Inter-service A MC/N AF CG Foreign International Devices

Badges:

Identification A MC N AF CG

Ranks

Enlisted:

A MC N AF CG

Warrant officers Officer:

A MC N AF CG

Other

Oath:

Enlistment Office

Creeds & Codes:

Code of Conduct NCO A MC N AF CG

Service numbers:

A MC N AF CG

Military Occupational Specialty/Rating/Air Force Specialty Code Pay Uniform Code of Military Justice Judge Advocate General's Corps Military Health System/TRICARE Separation Veterans Affairs Conscription Chiefs of Chaplains:

A MC N AF CG

Equipment

A MC:

vehicles weapons other

N AF CG

Land

Individual weapons Crew-served weapons Vehicles (active)

Sea

All watercraft Ships:

A N (active) AF CG MSC

Weapons:

N CG

Reactors

Air

Aircraft

World War I active

Aircraft designation Missiles Helicopter
Helicopter
arms

Other

Nuclear football Electronics (designations) Flags:

A MC N AF CG Ensign Jack Guidons

Food WMDs:

Nuclear Biological Chemical

Legend A = Army MC = Marine Corps N = Navy AF = Air Force CG = Coast Guard

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United States
United States
Department of Defense

Headquarters: The Pentagon

James Mattis, Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan, Deputy Secretary of Defense

Office of the Secretary of Defense (including Defense Agencies and DoD Field Activities)

Deputy Secretary of Defense

Deputy's Advisory Working Group Office of Net Assessment Special
Special
Access Program Oversight Committee

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics

Director, Defense Research and Engineering Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Missile Defense Agency Defense Contract Management Agency Defense Logistics Agency Defense Technical Information Center Defense Threat Reduction Agency Office of Economic Adjustment Defense Acquisition University Defense Acquisition Board

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Defense Security Cooperation Agency Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee

Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)

Defense Contract Audit Agency Defense Finance and Accounting Service

Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness

Defense Commissary Agency Department of Defense Education Activity DoD Human Resources Activity Military Health System Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute

Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence

Defense Intelligence Agency Defense Security Service Defense Information Systems Agency National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency National Reconnaissance Office National Security Agency
National Security Agency
(Director)

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs

Defense Media Activity
Defense Media Activity
(American Forces Press Service, American Forces Radio and Television Service, Stars and Stripes, The Pentagon
The Pentagon
Channel)

General Counsel of the Department of Defense

Defense Legal Services Agency

Director of Administration and Management

Pentagon Force Protection Agency Washington Headquarters Services

Military Departments

Department of the Army

Secretary of the Army The Secretariat: Under Secretary of the Army Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Assistant Secretary (Financial Management and Comptroller) Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs General Counsel of the Army The Administrative Assistant The Army Staff: Chief of Staff of the Army Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Sergeant Major of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff G-8 Chief of Chaplains Judge Advocate General Provost Marshal General Surgeon General U.S. Army
U.S. Army
field organizations: see Structure of the United States
United States
Army

Department of the Navy

Secretary of the Navy The Secretariat: Under Secretary of the Navy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller) Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Environment) Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisitions) General Counsel of the Navy Judge Advocate General Naval Criminal Investigative Service Naval Inspector General Headquarters Marine Corps: Commandant of the Marine Corps Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Chaplain U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Marine Corps
field organizations: see Organization of the United States Marine Corps Office of the Chief of Naval Operations: Chief of Naval Operations Vice Chief of Naval Operations Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Director of Naval Reactors Chief of Chaplains Chief of Naval Personnel Surgeon General United States
United States
Navy field organizations: see Structure of the United States Navy

Department of the Air Force

Secretary of the Air Force The Secretariat: Under Secretary of the Air Force Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition) Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management & Comptroller) Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Installations, Environment & Logistics) Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower & Reserve Affairs) General Counsel of the Air Force Air Force Office of Special
Special
Investigations The Air Staff: Chief of Staff of the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force Chief Master Sergeant
Chief Master Sergeant
of the Air Force Chief of Chaplains Chief of Safety Chief Scientist Judge Advocate General Surgeon General U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force
field organizations: Major Commands Direct Reporting Units Field Operating Agencies

Joint Chiefs of Staff

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Joint Requirements Oversight Council Director of the Joint Staff Joint Staff National Military Command Center Alternate National Military Command Center National Defense University

Combatant Commands

Africa Command Central Command European Command Northern Command Pacific Command Southern Command Special
Special
Operations Command Strategic Command (Cyber Command) Transportation Command

National Guard Bureau

Chief of the National Guard Bureau Air National Guard Army National Guard

Office of the Inspector General

Defense Criminal Investigative Service

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NATO Air Forces

Air forces

Albanian Air Force Belgian Air Component Bulgarian Air Force Royal Canadian Air Force Croatian Air Force and Air Defence Czech Air Force

Royal Danish Air Force Danish Air Force Home Guard

Estonian Air Force

French Air Force French Air Gendarmerie

German Air Force German Cyber and Information Space Command

Hellenic Air Force Hungarian Air Force Italian Air Force Latvian Air Force

Lithuanian Air Force Lithuanian Special
Special
Operations Force Air Force Special
Special
Operations Element

Montenegrin Air Force Royal Netherlands
Netherlands
Air Force

Royal Norwegian Air Force Norwegian Cyber Defence Force

Polish Air Force Portuguese Air Force Romanian Air Force Slovak Air Force Slovenian Air Force and Air Defence

Spanish Air Force Spanish Royal Guard "Plus Ultra" Squadron

Turkish Air Force Royal Air Force United States
United States
Air Force

Maritime forces aviation

Bulgarian Naval Aviation French Naval Aviation German Naval Aviation Naval Aviation Command Icelandic Coast Guard Aeronautical Division

Italian Navy Aviation Italian Coast Guard Air Service

Netherlands
Netherlands
Naval Aviation Service Polish Naval Aviation Brigade Portuguese Naval Aviation Romanian Naval Forces Aviation Spanish Naval Air Arm

Turkish Naval Forces Aviation Command Turkish Coast Guard Aviation Command

Fleet Air Arm

United States
United States
Marine Corps Aviation United States
United States
Naval Air Forces United States
United States
Coast Guard Aviation

Land forces aviation

French Army Light Aviation National Gendarmerie
National Gendarmerie
Aviation

German Army Aviation Corps Hellenic Army Aviation

Italian Army Aviation Command Aerial Service of the Carabinieri Corps

Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces, Aviation Unit Polish Land Forces
Polish Land Forces
Aviation Spanish Army Airmobile Force

Turkish Land Forces Aviation Command Turkish Gendarmerie Aviation Command

Army Air Corps United States
United States
Army Aviation Branch

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List of air forces

Abkhazia Afghanistan Albania Algeria Angola Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Cambodia Cameroon Canada Central African Republic Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Congo DR Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Finland France Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Greece Guatemala Guinea-Bissau Haiti Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Ivory Coast Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Macedonia Madagascar Malaysia Malta Mauritania Mexico Moldova Monaco Montenegro Morocco Myanmar Namibia Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Nigeria North Korea Norway Oman Pakistan Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Qatar Romania Russia Rwanda San Marino Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Somalia South Africa South Korea South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Togo Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 142489267 LCCN: n79126811 ISNI: 0000 0004 0478 7146 GND: 872-2 SELIBR: 302344 SUDOC: 077354907 BNF:

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