United States Air Force

The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight U.S. uniformed services. Initially formed as a part of the United States Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947. It is the second youngest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces[lower-alpha 1] and the fourth in order of precedence. The U.S. Air Force articulates its core missions as air superiority, global integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control.

United States Air Force

Emblem of the United States Air Force[1]

United States Air Force symbol
Founded18 September 1947
(74 years)
(as independent service)

1 August 1907
(114 years, 1 month)
(as Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps)


Country United States
TypeAir force[2]
RoleAir superiority
Global integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
Rapid global mobility
Global strike
Command and control
Size326,855 active duty personnel
152,231 civilians[3]
69,056 reserve personnel[4]
107,414 air national guard personnel[5]
5,047 manned aircraft[6]
406 ICBMs[7]
Part ofUnited States Armed Forces
Department of the Air Force
HeadquartersThe Pentagon
Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.
Motto(s)"Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win"[8]
"Integrity first, Service before self, Excellence in all we do"[9]
ColorsUltramarine blue, Golden yellow[10]
   
March"The U.S. Air Force" Play 
Anniversaries18 September
EquipmentList of U.S. Air Force equipment
Engagements
Websitewww.af.mil
www.airforce.com
Commanders
Commander-in-Chief President Joe Biden
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall III
Chief of Staff Gen Charles Q. Brown Jr.
Vice Chief of Staff Gen David W. Allvin
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force CMSAF JoAnne S. Bass
Insignia
Flag
Roundel
"Hap" Arnold Symbol
Aircraft flown
AttackA-10, AC-130, MQ-9
BomberB-1B, B-2, B-52H
Electronic
warfare
E-3, E-4, E-8, EC-130
FighterF-15C, F-15E, F-16, F-22, F-35A
HelicopterHH-60, UH-1N, MH-139
ReconnaissanceMC-12, RC-135, RQ-4, RQ-170, U-2, U-28
TrainerT-1, T-6, T-38, T-41, T-51, T-53, TG-16
TransportC-5M, C-12, C-17, C-21, C-32, C-37, C-130, C-40, CV-22, VC-25
TankerKC-10, KC-135, KC-46

The U.S. Air Force is a military service branch organized within the Department of the Air Force, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense. The Air Force through the Department of 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 one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As directed by the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Air Force, certain Air Force components are assigned to unified combatant commands. Combatant commanders are delegated operational authority of the forces assigned to them, while the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force retain administrative authority over their members.

Along with conducting independent air 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, the service operates more than 5,369 military aircraft[12] and 406 ICBMs.[13] It has a $156.3 billion budget[14] and is the second largest service branch, with 329,614 active duty airmen,[15] 172,857 civilian personnel,[16] 69,056 reserve airmen,[17] and 107,414 Air National Guard airmen.[18]