The mission of the USAF is "to defend the United States through control and exploitation of air and space".
There are three components of the USAF:
The Secretary of the Air Force[?] is Dr. James G. Roche[?]. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force is Gen. John P. Jumper[?]. Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force is the senior enlisted man in the Air Force. In 2002 the position was held by CMSgt Gerald R. Murray[?].
The USAF is organized into nine major commands (MAJCOMS), reporting to Headquarters, United States Air Force[?]:
|Major Command and Commanders||Location of Headquarters|
|Air Combat Command (ACC)||Langley Air Force Base[?], Virginia|
|Air Education & Training Command[?] (AETC)||Randolph Air Force Base[?], Texas|
|Air Force Materiel Command[?] (AFMC)||Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio|
|Air Force Reserve Command[?] (AFRC)||Robins Air Force Base[?], Georgia|
|Air Force Space Command[?] (AFSPC)||Peterson Air Force Base[?], Colorado|
|Air Force Special Operations Command[?] (AFSOC)||Hurlburt Field[?], Florida|
|Air Mobility Command[?] (AMC)||Scott Air Force Base[?], Illinois|
|U.S. Air Forces Europe[?] (USAFE)||Ramstein Air Base, Germany|
|U.S. Air Forces Pacific[?] (PACAF)||Hickam Air Force Base[?], Hawaii|
Air Forces[?] within the major commands:
|Air Force||Location of Headquarters||Major Command and Commander|
|First Air Force[?]||Tyndall Air Force Base[?], Florida||ACC|
|Second Air Force[?]||Keesler Air Force Base[?], Mississippi||AETC[?]|
|Third Air Force[?]||RAF Mildenhall[?], England||USAFE[?]|
|Fourth Air Force[?]||Robins Air Force Base[?], Georgia||AMC[?] AFRC[?]|
|Fifth Air Force[?]||Yokata Air Base[?], Japan||PACAF[?]|
|Seventh Air Force[?]||Osan Air Base[?], Korea||PACAF[?]|
|Eighth Air Force[?]||Barksdale Air Force Base[?], Louisiana||ACC|
|Ninth Air Force[?]||Shaw Air Force Base[?], South Carolina||ACC|
|Tenth Air Force[?]||Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base[?], Fort Worth, Texas||ACC AFRC[?]|
|Eleventh Air Force[?]||Elmendorf Air Force Base[?], Alaska||PACAF[?]|
|Twelfth Air Force[?]||Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona||ACC|
|Thirteenth Air Force[?]||Andersen Air Force Base[?], Guam||PACAF[?]|
|Fourteenth Air Force[?]||Vandenberg Air Force Base, California||AFSPC[?]|
|Fifteenth Air Force[?]||Travis Air Force Base[?], California||ACC|
|Sixteenth Air Force[?]||Aviano Air Base[?], Italy||USAFE[?]|
|Twentieth Air Force[?]||F.E. Warren Air Force Base[?], Wyoming||AFSPC[?]|
|Nineteenth Air Force[?]||Randolph Air Force Base[?], Texas||AETC[?]|
|Twenty-First Air Force[?]||McGuire Air Force Base[?], New Jersey||AMC[?]|
|Twenty-Second Air Force[?]||Dobbins Air Reserve Base[?], Georgia||AMC[?] AFRC[?]|
Air forces are composed of two or more air divisions. Air divisions are composed of two or more wings.
|5th Bomb Wing (BW)|| Barksdale Air Force Base[?], Lousiana and |
Minot Air Force Base[?], North Dakota
|U.S. Strategic Command[?] (STRATCOM)||B-52H|
|149th Fighter Wing (FW)||Texas Air National Guard||F-16|
|15th Air Base Wing||Hickham Air Force Base[?], Hawaii||PACAF[?]|
|18th Wing||Kadena Air Force Base[?], Japan||PACAF||F-15C|
|1st Fighter Wing||Langley Air Force Base[?], Virginia||ACC||F-15C|
|21st Space Wing||Peterson Air Force Base[?], Colorado|
|30th Wing||Vandenburg Air Force Base[?], California||AFSC|
|319th Air Refueling Wing||Grand Forks Air Force Base[?], North Dakota|
|347th Rescue Wing||Moody Air Force Base[?], Georgia||HH-60 Pave Hawk|
|355th Wing||Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona||ACC|| HH-60 Pave Hawk |
|36th Wing||Anderson Air Force Base[?], Guam||PACAF|
|376th Air Expeditionary Wing||Bagram AB, Afghanistan[?]||ACC|
|39th Wing||Incirlik AB, Turkey[?]||ACC|
|412th Test Wing||Edwards Air Force Base[?], California|
|49th Fighter Wing||Holloman Air Force Base[?], New Mexico||ACC||F-117|
|509th Bomb Wing||Whiteman Air Force Base[?], Missouri||STRATCOM||B-2|
|57th Wing||Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada||ACC|
|60th Air Mobility Wing (AMW)||Travis Air Force Base[?], California||AMC||C-5B|
|62nd Air Wing (AMW)||AMC||C-17 Globemaster 3[?]|
|90th Space Wing||F.E. Warren Air Force Base[?], Wyoming||STRATCOM||Minuteman III[?] ICBM|
|939th Rescue Wing||Portland, Oregon|| HH-60 Pave Hawk |
|99th Air Base Wing||Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada||ACC|
Wings are composed of several groups with functional responsibilities. Groups are composed of several squadrons. Squadrons are composed of two or more flights.
|Air Force Institute of Technology||Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio|
|Air Warfare Center||Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada||ACC|
|Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center||Tinker Air Force Base[?], Oklahoma||AFMC[?]|
For a detailed history, see United States Air Force--History[?].
In 1917, upon the United States' entry into World War I, the U.S. Army Air Service[?] was formed as part of the American Expeditionary Force[?] (AEF). Major General Patrick Mason[?] commanded the AEF air forces; his deputy was Brigadier-General Billy Mitchell. The Air Service provided tactical support for the U.S. Army, especially during the Battle of Saint-Mihiel[?] and the Meuse-Argonne offensives[?]. Among the aces of the Air Service were Captain Eddie Rickenbacker and Frank Luke.
In 1926 the Air Service was reorganized as a branch of the Army and became the U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC). During this period, the USAAC began experimenting with new techniques, including air-to-air refueling and the development of the B-9 and the Martin B-10, the first all-metal monoplane bomber, and new fighters. In 1937, the B-17 Flying Fortress made its first appearance. In a spectacular feat of navigation, three B-17s intercepted the Italian passenger liner Rex[?] at sea.
In Europe, the USAAF began daylight bombing operations, over objections of the Royal Air Force planners on the Combined Chiefs of Staff[?]. The US strategy involved flying bombers together, relying on the defensive firepower of a close formation. The tactic was only successful in part. American flyers took tremendous casualites during raids on the oil refineries of Ploesti[?], Rumania and the ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt[?] and Regensburg, Germany. When the P-51 Mustang, with its increased range, was introduced to combat, American combat losses dropped, and operations during Big Week[?] in late winter of 1944 caused the Luftwaffe to lose experienced pilots.
In the Pacific theater, the USAAF used the B-29 Superfortress to launch attacks on the Japanese mainland from China. One of the major logisitical efforts of the war, "flying the Hump" over the Himalayas, took place. To carry both a bomb load and fuel and to bomb at high altitude through the jet stream affected the B-29's range. As soon as airbases on Saipan were captured in 1944, General Curtis LeMay changed strategy from high-level precision bombings to low-level incendiary bombings, aimed at destroying the distributed network of Japanese industrial manufacturing. Many Japanese cities suffered extensive damage. Tokyo suffered a firestorm in which over 100,000 persons died.
The Department of the Air Force[?] was created when President Harry S Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947. It became effective September 18, 1947, when Chief Justice Fred Vinson[?] administered the oath of office to the first secretary of the Air Force, Stuart Symington[?].
In 1948, Communist authorities in Eastern Germany cut off road and air transportation to West Berlin. Military Airlift Command supplied the city during the Berlin airlift[?], using C-121 Constellation[?] and the C-54 Skymaster[?]. The Royal Air Force also played a significant role in flying tonnage into the city with Avro Yorks, Avro Tudors and Douglas Dakotas.
The Korean War saw the Far Eastern Air Force[?] losing its main airbase in Kimpo[?], South Korea, and forced to provide close air support[?] to the defenders of the Pusan pocket from bases in Japan. However, General Douglas B. MacArthur's[?] landing at Inchon in September 1950 enabled the FEAF to return to Kimpo and other bases, from which they supported MacArthur's drive to the Korean-Chinese border. When the Chinese People's Liberation Army intervened in December, 1950, the USAF provided tactical air support. The introduction of the Soviet-made MiG-15 caused problems for the B-29s used to bomb North Korea, but the USAF countered the MiGs with the F-86 Sabre[?].