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Portal:United States Air Force

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The United States Air Force Portal

Logo of the US Air Force

The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial and space warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is primarily responsible for aerial warfare, space warfare and cyber warfare. Initially part of the United States Army as the Army Air Forces, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military, equal to the Army and Navy, on September 18, 1947. It the youngest service branch in the U.S. Armed Forces.

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

Starfire Optical Range - three lasers into space.jpg
Light Show

Three green lasers fire into space from the Starfire Optical Range at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

photo source: Air Force Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate gallery

Article spotlight

C-47s at Tempelhof Airport Berlin 1948.jpg

Operation Vittles, better known as the Berlin Airlift, was launched on 24 June 1948 in response to the Soviet blockade of West Berlin. The airlift continued for fifteen months, until 30 September 1949. Flying primarily C-47 Skytrain and C-54 Skymaster aircraft the USAF delivered a total of nearly 1,783,573 tons of supplies. The Royal Air Force delivered a further 541,937 tons totaling 2,326,406 tons on 278,228 total flights. Through the course of the operation seventeen USAF crashed resulting in the deaths of 31 personnel. The airlift directly resulted in the failure of the Soviet policy and an early Cold War victory for NATO.

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

F-80C 8FBW Aug 1952.JPEG

The P-80 Shooting Star was the first jet fighter used operationally by the United States Army Air Forces. It was introduced into active service in July 1945, during the closing weeks of World War II, however, the aircraft did not see combat during the war. The Army Air Forces, and later the Air Force, acquired more than 1,700 of the aircraft before the end of the production run in 1950. The aircraft saw extensive action during the opening phases of the Korean War. However, as the more nimble F-86 Sabre came into service the P-80s were primarily assigned to ground attack and photo reconnaissance roles.

The P-80 design was the basis of the T-33 Shooting Star trainer aircraft. The Shooting Star airframe became the primary jet trainer as the Air Force migrated to more advanced fighters.

Biography spotlight

Moseley official photo 6.jpg

General Teed Michael Moseley, KBE, was the 18th Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. He assumed the position during a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base on September 2, 2005.

As Chief, he served as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipage of more than 700,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the general and other service chiefs functioned as military advisers to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council, and the President. He resigned from his position in June 2008 following a serise of incidents involving nuclear weapon security.

Did you know...?

Toast to General Duncan McNabb.jpg

...that the Order of the Sword was first awarded in May 1967? It is the highest honor the Air Force enlisted corps can bestow upon an individual. The Order of the Sword is typically presented to senior Air Force officers in recognition of their dedicated service.

Quotes

Norton A Schwartz 2008 2.jpg

"Since the Nation's birth, it has been the constitutional duty of our military to ensure national survival, defend lives and property, and promote vital interests at home and abroad. The enduring responsibility of the United States Air Force is to provide strategic deterrence for the Nation and fly, fight and win as an integral part of the Joint Team. Together with our brothers and sisters in arms, we underwrite the national strategy of defending the Homeland and assuring allies, while dissuading, deterring and defeating enemies."

Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton A. Schwartz, 3 Sept 2008

Schwartz, General Norton A. (September 3, 2008). "Fly, Fight and Win!". CSAF's Vector. United States Air Force. Retrieved February 19, 2009.

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