United States Air Force

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United States Air Force
F22A Raptor.jpg
"Above All"
18 September 1947
Fighter aircraft 1869
Other aircraft 3704
ICBM arsenal 450
Satellites 32
Officers 64,580 (2009)
Enlisted 261,273 (2009)
Civilian employees 162,132 (2009)
Chief officer candidate school United States Air Force Academy
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Boot camp (enlisted) Lackland Air Force Base
San Antonio, Texas
Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley
Chief of Staff General Norton A. Schwartz
Vice Chief of Staff General Carrol H. Chandler
Chief Master Sergeant of the
Air Force
CMSAF James A. Roy

The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare branch of the United States armed forces. In general terms, the Air Force's role is to prepare and train, and when needed, fight the aerial aspects of any military conflict the U.S. becomes involved in.

The U.S. Air Force vision statement is: "Global Vigilance, Reach, and Power." The Air Force motto is "Integrity first, service before self, excellence in all we do."

According to the National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 502) which created the Air Force,

"In general the 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."

Previously the United States Army Air Corps, part of the United States Army, the U.S. Air Force is the youngest American military branch. It was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947. Tasked with protecting U.S. air space and supporting ground troops, the Air Force relies on the most technologically advanced military aircraft in the world. Operating those planes are highly trained pilots backed by technically skilled support crews.

Air Force One.

The USAF is the largest and the most technologically advanced air force in the world, with about 6057 manned aircraft in service (4,273 USAF; 1,313 Air National Guard; and 400 Air Force Reserve); approximately 160 Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles, 2161 Air-Launched Cruise Missiles, and 1900 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles; and as of September 30, 2007, had 328,808 personnel on active duty, 70,303 in the Selected and Individual Ready Reserves, and 106,254 in the Air National Guard. An additional 10,500 personnel were in the Standby Reserve and the Air Force employed 141,573 civilian personnel.

The current size of the active-duty force is roughly 70% of that of the USAF at the end of the first Gulf War in 1991.

Not all of the United States' military combat aircraft are operated by the USAF. The United States Army operates its own helicopters, mostly for support of ground combatants. The Navy is responsible for the aircraft operating on its aircraft carriers and Naval air stations, and the Marine Corps operates its own combat and transport aircraft. The Coast Guard also maintains transport and search-and-rescue aircraft, which may be used in a combat and law enforcement role. All branches of the U.S. military operate helicopters.

The Air Force is managed by the Department of the Air Force which is headed by the Secretary of the Air Force who heads administrative affairs. The Department of the Air Force is a division of the United States Department of Defense which is headed by the United States Secretary of Defense. The highest-ranking military officer in the department is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

General Officers
Pay grade O-11 O-10 0-9 O-8 O-7
Rank insignia GENAIRFORCE.jpg DODOfficer10.jpg DODOfficer9.jpg DODOfficer8.jpg DODOfficer7.jpg
Title General of the Air Force General Lieutenant General Major General Brigadier General

Commissioned Officers
Pay grade O-6 O-5 O-4 O-3 O-2 O-1
Insignia DODOfficer6.JPG DODOfficer5.JPG DODOfficer4.JPG DODOfficer3.JPG DODOfficer2.JPG DODOfficer1.JPG
Title Colonel Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain 1st Lieutenant 2nd Lieutenant

Pay grade E-9 E-8 E-7 E-6 E-5 E-4 E-3 E-2 E-1
Insignia E9d USAF CMSAF.png USAF CMS.png USAF E9a.png USAF E9.png USAF E8a.png USAF E8.png USAF E7a.png USAF E7.png USAF E6.png USAF E5.png USAF E4.png USAF E3.png USAF E2.png No Insignia
Title Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant Chief Master Sergeant1 Senior Master Sergeant1 Master Sergeant1 Technical Sergeant Staff Sergeant Senior Airman Airman First Class Airman Airman Basic

See also

External links