Portal:United States Air Force

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The United States Air Force Portal

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The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare branch of the armed forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. Initially part of the United States Army as the Army Air Corps, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947. It was the last branch of the US military to be formed.

The USAF is one of the largest and most technologically advanced air forces in the world, with about 5,573 manned aircraft in service (3,990 USAF; 1,213 Air National Guard; and 370 Air Force Reserve); approximately 180 Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles, 2130 Air-Launched Cruise Missiles, and 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles; and has 330,159 personnel on active duty, 68,872 in the Selected and Individual Ready Reserves, and 94,753 in the Air National Guard. In addition, the Air Force employs 151,360 civilian personnel.

The Department of the Air Force is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force who heads administrative affairs. The Department of the Air Force is a division of the Department of Defense, headed by the Secretary of Defense. The highest ranking military officer in the Department of the Air Force is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

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Picture spotlight

Aerial Gunner.jpg

Photo credit: Staff Sergeant Shawn Weismiller, 26 June 2009. USAF photo.
On Patrol

Aerial gunner patrolling Afghanistan.

photo source: USAF Public Affairs

Article spotlight

B-1 Bombers on Diego Garcia.jpg

Diego Garcia is an atoll located in the heart of the Indian Ocean, some 1,000 miles (1,600 km) south off India's southern coast. It is the largest atoll by land area of the Chagos Archipelago. It is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), a British Overseas Territory. Since the enforced depopulation of Diego Garcia in the years leading up to 1973, it has been used as a military base by the United States. Diego Garcia hosts one of three Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) (others are on Kwajalein and Ascension Island) that assist the United States Space Surveillance Network.

USAF news

Service considering retrofitting late-model C-130's with new engines

Summary: The U.S. Air Force is interested in procuring commercial off-the-shelf engines to replace antiquated propulsion systems on C-130 aircraft. At a technology summit in Arlington, Virginia, General Philip Breedlove told of the service's efforts to follow up on the successes of the C-130J upgrade with commercially available fuel efficient engines. Breedlove says the prioritization of use of C-130J's in inter-theater operations for cost savings has tied up logistics. The C-130 also suffers from performance and maintenance issues that have led to the cancellation of the FCS Manned Ground Vehicles program that was unable to fall within weight parameters while maintaining protection requirements. While enhancing the current generation of aircraft, the Air Force is also heading an initiative to develop fuel efficient technologies for the next generation of propulsion systems. the ADaptive Versatile ENgine Technology program seeks to develop an engine that is 30% more efficient than the F119 or F135 engines that power the F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft. The Versatile, Affordable, Advanced Turbine Engines and Highly Efficient Embedded Turbine Engine programs are also being pursued to develop propulsion technologies for sub-sonic military aircraft.

Source:http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/07/air-force-c-130-replacing-older-engines-072011w/
News Archive

Aerospace vehicle spotlight

Jb2-1.jpg

The JB-2 "Loon" was the US copy of the German V-1 flying bomb. American engineers at Wright Field reverse engineered a V-1 in June 1944 and then began building an American version of the missile with slight differences from the original German model and the first test launch was done at Eglin Army Air Field in October 1944. The initial production order was for 1,000 JB-2s with an additional 1,000 JB-2s per month. The envisioned end-state was an inventory of 75,000 rockets. Additionally, sea-based and air-based versions of the weapon were also being developed.

US planners had intended to use the JB-2 as part of Operation Downfall, however, the use of atomic weapons and the Japanese surrender rendered the use of JB-2 rockets unnecessary. A total of 1,391 JB-2s were produced. Testing with the rockets continued in the post-war years in air-, ground-, and sea-based capacities. The rocket was used for testing against ground targets as well as a potential anti-aircraft weapon. While the JB-2 was never operationally deployed it served as the foundation for future US ballistic missile systems including the MGM-1 Matador and the MGM-13 Mace.

Biography spotlight

Maj Nicole Malachowski, USAF Thunderbirds.jpg

Lieutenant Colonel Nicole Malachowski (b. 1974) grew up in southern Nevada. While in high school she joined the Civil Air Patrol and was active in Air Force Junior ROTC. After graduating from high school she enrolled at the United States Air Force Academy where she graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Management with a minor in French.

Lieutenant Colonel Malachowski trained as a F-15E Strike Eagle pilot. She has served overseas at RAF Lakenheath, England, Camp Red Cloud, South Korea, and in the United States at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Additionally, she has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2005 she was selected to become the first female pilot for the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team. Upon completion of her tour with the Thunderbirds Major Malachowski was accepted into the White House Fellows program. She currently has more than 1,800 flying hours including more than 1,000 hours in the F-15E Strike Eagle.

Did you know...?

AFIT Graduation.jpg

... that the Air Force Institute of Technology offers master's and doctorate degrees in 24 fields? In addition, the school also offers continuing education classes in a number of technical and logistical fields across the Air Force.

Quotes

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

— The United States of America Pledge of Allegiance

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