Portal:United States Air Force

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The United States Air Force Portal

Seal of the US Air Force

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

USAF Honor Guard Funeral Detail.jpg

The Air Force Honor Guard consists of specially training Air Force members who conduct ceremonial functions. Honor guards typically perform ceremonial functions at funerals, weddings, and present the colors at formal occasions. Each air force base maintains its own honor guard for local functions while the national honor guard conducts national-level ceremonies and includes a drill team that performs exhibitions worldwide.

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

375th Fighter Squadron North American P-51D-5-NA Mustang 44-13926.jpg

The P-51 Mustang is one of the most celebrated aircraft in U.S. history. Development of the aircraft first began shortly after World War II broke out in late 1939. The initial design was marked by poor performance at high altitudes. However, after being outfitted with Rolls-Royce Merlin engine the aircraft saw a marked improvement. The aircraft went into service with the U.S. Army Air Forces beginning in 1942.

The Mustang saw extensive service during World War II. Its capabilities made it ideal for bomber escort in the European Theater of Operations. As the war progressed P-51s added a ground attack role. Despite the employment of newer jet aircraft, Mustangs were also employed during the Korean War serving primarily in ground attack and reconnaissance roles.

The last Mustang to serve in the Air Force was retired from the West Virginia Air National Guard in 1957. A total of 15,875 Mustangs were built through its production history. Mustangs were flown by several foreign air forces, with active operations continuing to 1984. Additionally, civilian operators continue to fly Mustangs today.

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...?

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The SR-71 Blackbird holds the record for flying from New York City to London. The record, 1 hour 54 minutes and 56.4 seconds (mach 2.68), was set on 1 September 1974 and is still the record for this transatlantic flight.

Quotes

Leonardo da Vinci - presumed self-portrait - WGA12798.jpg

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.


Source: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/l/leonardo_da_vinci.html

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