North Vietnam the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, was a country in Southeast Asia from 1954 to 1975. Vietnamese revolutionary leader Hồ Chí Minh declared independence from French Indochina on 2 September 1945 and announced the creation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. France reasserted its colonial dominance and a war ensued between France and the Viet Minh, led by President Ho Chi Minh; the Viet Minh was a coalition of nationalist groups led by communists. In February 1951, the communists announced the creation of the Lao Động Party marginalizing non-communists in the Việt Minh. Between 1946 and 1954, the Việt Minh controlled most of the rural areas of Vietnam. In 1954, after the French were defeated, the negotiation of the Geneva Accords ended the war between France and the Việt Minh and granted Vietnam independence; the Geneva Accords divided the country provisionally into northern and southern zones, stipulated general elections in July 1956 to "bring about the unification of Viet-Nam".
The northern zone was called North Vietnam, the southern zone was called South Vietnam. Supervision of the implementation of the Geneva Accords was the responsibility of an international commission consisting of India and Poland; the United States did not sign the Geneva Accords, which stated that the United States "shall continue to seek to achieve unity through free elections supervised by the United Nations to insure that they are conducted fairly". In July 1955, the prime minister of the Republic of Vietnam, Ngô Đình Diệm, announced that South Vietnam would not participate in elections to unify the country, he said that South Vietnam was not bound by it. After the failure to reunify Vietnam by elections, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam attempted to unify the country by force in the Vietnam War. North Vietnam and the Việt Cộng insurgents supported by their communist allies, including the Soviet Union and China, fought against the military of South Vietnam, the United States and other anti-communist military forces, including South Korea, Australia and smaller players.
North Vietnam supported indigenous communist rebels in Cambodia and Laos against their respective U. S.-backed governments. The war ended when North Vietnamese forces and the Việt Cộng defeated South Vietnam and in 1976 united the two parts of the country into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; the expanded Democratic Republic retained North Vietnam's political culture under Soviet influence and continued its existing memberships in international organisations such as Comecon. After about 300 years of partition by feudal dynasties, Vietnam was again under one single authority in 1802 when Gia Long founded the Nguyễn dynasty, but the country became a French protectorate after 1883 and under Japanese occupation after 1940 during World War II. Soon after Japan surrendered on 2 September 1945, the Việt Minh in the August Revolution entered Hanoi, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was proclaimed on 2 September 1945: a government for the entire country, replacing the Nguyễn dynasty. Hồ Chí Minh became leader of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
U. S. President Franklin Roosevelt had spoken against French rule in Indochina, the U. S. was supportive of the Viet Minh at this time. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh claimed dominion over all of Vietnam, but during this time South Vietnam was in profound political disorder; the successive collapse of French Japanese power, followed by the dissension among the political factions in Saigon had been accompanied by widespread violence in the countryside. On 16 August 1945, Hồ Chí Minh organized the National Congress in Tân Trào; the Congress adopted 10 major policies of the Việt Minh, passed the General Uprising Order,decided the National Flag, in the middle with 5-pointed gold star, selected the national anthem and selected the National Committee for the Liberation of Vietnam becoming the Provisional Revolutionary Government, led by Hồ Chí Minh. On 12 September 1945, the first British troops arrived in Saigon. On 23 September 28 days after the people of Saigon seized political power, French troops occupied the police stations, the post office, other public buildings.
The salient political fact of life in Northern Vietnam was Chinese Nationalist army of occupation, the Chinese presence had forced Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh to accommodate Chinese-backed Viet Nationalists. In June 1946, Chinese Nationalist troops evacuated Hanoi, on the 15 June, the last detachments embarked at Haiphong. After the departure of the British in 1946, the French controlled a part of Cochinchina, South Central Coast, Central Highlands since the end Southern Resistance War. In January 1946, the Viet Minh held an election to establish a National Assembly. Public enthusiasm for this event suggests that the Viet Minh enjoyed a great deal of popularity at this time, although there were few competitive races and the party makeup of the Assembly was determined in advance of the vote. On 18 and 19 September 1945, the Việt Minh held secret meetings with Việt Quốc. In these two meetings, Nguyễn Hải Thần represented Việt Cách and Nguyễn Tường Tam represent Việt Quốc. Hồ Chí Minh agree to unite the Việt Minh with Việt Quốc.
Thus, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam led by the Việt Minh will receive the financial and political support of the Republic of China. For this proposal, within the Việt Minh there are many different opinions. Võ Nguyên Giáp disagrees with the suggestion that the proposals are not valid and not honest, as if replacing French col
51st Operations Group
The 51st Operations Group is the operational flying component of the United States Air Force 51st Fighter Wing, stationed at Osan Air Base, South Korea. The group was first activated during the buildup for World War II as the 51st Pursuit Group, it was one of the first groups deployed from the United States after the Attack on Pearl Harbor, traveling west to India via Australia and Ceylon. It inactivated, it was reactivated on Okinawa and became part of the occupation forces. During the Korean War, the group's aircraft were some of the first United States Air Force fighters to engage in combat operations over South Korea engaging enemy fighters in air-to-air combat; the 51st Operations Group is the most forward deployed USAF operations group in the world, providing combat ready aircraft for the close air support, air strike control, counter air, theater airlift, communications in the defense of the Republic of Korea. The 51 Operation Group consists of the following squadrons: 25th Fighter Squadron "Assam Draggins" 36th Fighter Squadron "Fiends" 51st Operations Support Squadron For additional history and lineage, see 51st Fighter Wing During 1941, trained in the United States for fighter operations.
After the Pearl Harbor attack on 7 December, the 51st served as part of the defense force for the west coast. Operational squadrons of the group were the 25th, 26th and 449th; the group was deployed to India via Australia and Ceylon beginning in January 1942 and arriving in March, serving in the China Burma India Theater of World War II. It was assigned to Tenth Air Force and equipped with Curtiss P-40 Warhawks and Lockheed P-38 Lightnings; the group defended the Indian terminus of the "Hump" airlift route over the Himalaya Mountains between India and China and airfields in that area. The group flew strafing, bombing and patrol missions in support of Allied ground troops during a Japanese offensive in northern Burma in 1943. After moving to China in October 1943 the 51st FG was assigned to the 69th Composite Wing of Fourteenth Air Force; the group defended air bases in the Kunming area. Attached Japanese shipping in the Red River delta of Indochina and supported Chinese ground forces in their late 1944 drive along the Salween River.
The group was reequipped with North American P-51D Mustangs in 1945 to defend the eastern end of the route over the Hump, to guard air bases in the Kunming area. The 51st Fighter Group returned to India in the fall of 1945 and sailed for the United States in November; the group was inactivated on 13 December 1945. The group was reactivated at Yontan Air Base Okinawa in 1946 and moved to Naha AB when Yontan closed in 1947; the group was assigned to 301st Fighter Wing. The group served as part of the occupation force and provided air defense for Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands until 1950. With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, elements of the 51st were dispatched first to Japan to South Korea, it entered combat service flying the Lockheed F-80C Shooting Star on 22 September of that year, when it moved to Itazuke Air Base, Japan to support the breakout of the U. S. Eighth Army from the Pusan Perimeter. For nearly 4 years thereafter, the 51st FIW played a key role in the defense of South Korea despite moving to four different locations within a year and operating under austere conditions.
The wing moved to South Korea in October only to return to Japan in December, leaving combat elements behind. In May 1951, the 51st FIW moved to Suwon Air Base, southwest of Seoul, but retained maintenance and supply elements at Tsuiki Air Base, Japan, to provide rear echelon support. In November 1951 the 51st FIW transitioned to the North American F-86 Sabre with two squadrons, adding a third squadron the following May; the group operated a detachment at Suwon AB, beginning in May 1951, relocated there in October 1951, with maintenance and supply elements remaining in Japan until August 1954. The wing ceased combat on 27 July 1953; the 51 FIW's war record was impressive. Wing pilots shot down 312 MiG-15s. McConnell; the ratio of aerial victories to losses was 10 to 1. The wing lost 32 pilots to enemy action. On 1 August 1954, the 51 FIW returned to Naha Air Base to resume air defense coverage of the Ryukyu Islands. Operational squadrons were the 25th 26th FISs. At the same time, the wing demonstrated its mobility readiness in response to three regional crises.
During the period when the 51st was stationed at Naha, Okinawa, it was called upon to fly cover for the National Chinese who were evacuating the mainland. The 25th went to Formosa and flew out of China in the central part of the island and provided assistance to the Seventh Fleet as well as flying recon flights over the mainland of China; the group was inactivated on 25 October 1957 when the group's parent wing adapted the Tri-Deputate organization and the operational fighter squadrons were assigned directly to the wing. Since 1990, trained and took part in a series of exercises to maintain combat readiness for the air defense of South Korea. Established as the 51st Pursuit Group on 20 November 1940Activated on 15 January 1941 Redesignated 51st Pursuit Group on 12 March 1941 Redesignated 51st Fighter Group on 15 May 1942 Inactivated on 13 December 1945Activated on 15 October 1946Redesignated 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group on 1 February 1950 Inactivated on 25 October 1957Redesignated 51st Tactical Fighter Group on 31 July 1985 (Remained
Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II
The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin turbofan engine, straight wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic for the United States Air Force. It is referred to by the nicknames "Warthog" or "Hog", although the A-10's official name comes from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, a World War II fighter-bomber effective at attacking ground targets; the A-10 was designed for close air support of friendly ground troops, attacking armored vehicles and tanks, providing quick-action support against enemy ground forces. It entered service in 1976 and is the only production-built aircraft that has served in the USAF, designed for CAS, its secondary mission is to provide forward air controller – airborne support, by directing other aircraft in attacks on ground targets. Aircraft used in this role are designated OA-10; the A-10 was intended to improve on the performance of its lesser firepower. The A-10 was designed around the 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon, its airframe was designed for durability, with measures such as 1,200 pounds of titanium armor to protect the cockpit and aircraft systems, enabling it to absorb a significant amount of damage and continue flying.
Its short takeoff and landing capability permits operation from airstrips close to the front lines, its simple design enables maintenance with minimal facilities. The A-10 served in the Gulf War, the American led intervention against Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, where the A-10 distinguished itself; the A-10 participated in other conflicts such as in Grenada, the Balkans, Afghanistan and against Islamic State in the Middle East. The A-10A single-seat variant was the only version produced, though one pre-production airframe was modified into the YA-10B twin-seat prototype to test an all-weather night capable version. In 2005, a program was started to upgrade remaining A-10A aircraft to the A-10C configuration, with modern avionics for use with precision weaponry; the U. S. Air Force had stated the F-35 would replace the A-10 as it entered service, but this remains contentious within the USAF and in political circles. With a variety of upgrades and wing replacements, the A-10's service life can be extended to 2040.
Post-World War II development of conventionally armed attack aircraft in the United States had stagnated. Design efforts for tactical aircraft focused on the delivery of nuclear weapons using high-speed designs like the F-101 Voodoo and F-105 Thunderchief. Designs concentrating on conventional weapons had been ignored, leaving their entry into the Vietnam War led by the Korean War-era Douglas A-1 Skyraider. While a capable aircraft for its era, with a large payload and long loiter times, the propeller-driven design was relatively slow and vulnerable to ground fire; the U. S. Air Force and Marine Corps lost 266 A-1s in action in Vietnam from small arms fire; the A-1 Skyraider had poor firepower. The lack of modern conventional attack capability prompted calls for a specialized attack aircraft. On 7 June 1961, Secretary of Defense McNamara ordered the USAF to develop two tactical aircraft, one for the long-range strike and interdictor role, the other focusing on the fighter-bomber mission; the former became the Tactical Fighter Experimental, or TFX, which emerged as the F-111, while the second was filled by a version of the U.
S. Navy's F-4 Phantom II. While the Phantom went on to be one of the most successful fighter designs of the 1960s, proved to be a capable fighter-bomber, its lack of loiter time was a major problem, to a lesser extent, its poor low-speed performance, it was expensive to buy and operate, with a flyaway cost of $2 million in FY1965, operational costs over $900 per hour. After a broad review of its tactical force structure, the U. S. Air Force decided to adopt a low-cost aircraft to supplement the F-4 and F-111, it first focused on the Northrop F-5. A 1965 cost-effectiveness study shifted the focus from the F-5 to the less expensive LTV A-7D, a contract was awarded. However, this aircraft doubled in cost with demands for new avionics. During this period, the United States Army had been introducing the UH-1 Iroquois into service. First used in its intended role as a transport, it was soon modified in the field to carry more machine guns in what became known as the helicopter gunship role; this proved effective against the armed enemy, new gun and rocket pods were added.
Soon the AH-1 Cobra was introduced. This was an attack helicopter armed with long-range BGM-71 TOW missiles able to destroy tanks from outside the range of defensive fire; the helicopter was effective, prompted the U. S. military to change its defensive strategy in Europe by blunting any Warsaw Pact advance with anti-tank helicopters instead of the tactical nuclear weapons, the basis for NATO's battle plans since the 1950s. The Cobra was a made helicopter based on the UH-1 Iroquois, in the late 1960s the U. S. Army was designing the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne, a much more capable attack aircraft with greater speed; these developments worried the USAF, which saw the anti-tank helicopter overtaking its nuclear-armed tactical aircraft as the primary anti-armor force in Europe. A 1966 Air Force study of existing close air support capabilities revealed gaps in the escort and fire suppression roles, which the Cheyenne could fill; the study concluded that the service should acquire a simple, dedicated CAS aircraft at least as capable as the A-1, that it should develop doctrine and procedures for
Pacific Air Forces
Pacific Air Forces is a Major Command of the United States Air Force and is the air component command of the United States Indo-Pacific Command. PACAF is headquartered at Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, is one of two USAF MAJCOMs assigned outside the Continental United States, the other being the United States Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa. Over the past sixty-five plus years, PACAF has been engaged in combat during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and Operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom; the mission of Pacific Air Forces is to provide ready air and space power to promote U. S. interests in the Asia-Pacific region during peacetime, through crisis, in war. PACAF organizes and equips the 45,000 Total Force personnel of the Regular Air Force, the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard with the tools necessary to support the Commander of United States Indo-Pacific Command. PACAF comprises nine main bases and nearly 375 aircraft.
The command's area of responsibility extends from the west coast of the United States to the east coast of Asia and from the Arctic to the Antarctic, more than 100,000,000 square miles. The area is home to nearly two billion people. Not to be confused with Far East Air Force, the military aviation organization of the United States Army in the Philippine Islands from 1941 to 1942; the beginnings of PACAF can be traced back to June 1944, when Major General St. Clair Streett's Thirteenth Air Force was added to Allied Air Forces, South West Pacific Area. At the same time, Lieutenant General George Kenney created the Far East Air Forces from his Fifth Air Force headquarters, while the Advanced Echelon became the Fifth Air Force under Major General Ennis Whitehead, Sr; the RAAF formed the Australian First Tactical Air Force under Air Commodore Harry Cobby in October 1944, when General Douglas MacArthur became commander of all Army forces in the Pacific, the Seventh Air Force was added as well. Far East Air Forces was activated on 3 August 1944, at Brisbane, Australia.
FEAF had been created on 15 June 1944, Fifth Air Force assigned to it. FEAF was subordinate to the U. S. Army served as the headquarters of Allied Air Forces Southwest Pacific Area; the creation of FEAF consolidated the command and control authority over United States Army Air Forces units deployed throughout the southwest Pacific in World War II. On 15 June 1945, Fifth Air Force, Clark Field, Philippines. With the end of World War II in September 1945, the USAAF found its units deployed throughout the Pacific, from Hawaii to India, from Japan to Australia, based on a hundred island airstrips, along with bases in China and Burma. A realignment of these forces was needed by the USAAF to better organize its forces in the Pacific for peacetime. On 6 December 1945, Far East Air Forces was redesignated Pacific Air Command, United States Army, its Air Forces were redeployed as follows: Fifth Air Force: Assigned to Tokyo, JapanPrimary mission performing allied occupational assistance on the Japanese Home Islands and the Korean peninsula.
Seventh Air Force: Assigned to Hickam Field, HawaiiReturning to its prewar mission for the defense of the Hawaiian Islands, including Midway Island. In November 1945, the 509th Composite Group left North Field on the island of Tinian and was reassigned to Roswell Army Air Field, New Mexico, taking the atomic bomb delivery capability of PACUSA to the United States. Shortly afterwards, Eighth Air Force was reassigned to the newly established Strategic Air Command on 7 June 1946 and its strategic units reassigned to the 1st Bombardment Division; the major mission of PACUSA in the postwar years was occupation duty in Japan and the demilitarization of the Japanese society in conjunction with the United States Army. In addition, PACUSA helped to support atomic bomb testing in the Pacific Proving Grounds beginning with the Operation Crossroads test on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in 1946. With the impending establishment of the United States Air Force as an independent service that year, PACUSA was redesignated Far East Air Forces on 1 January 1947.
On that same date, Seventh Air Force in Hawaii was inactivated with its organization absorbed by HQ, FEAF. Coinciding with the establishment of the United States Air Force as an independent service in September 1947, PACUSA/FEAF deployments to Korea prior to the 1948 partition of the country helped in the establishment of the Republic of Korea, along with the transfer of surplus military equipment and other aid to French Indochina as well as aid to the Nationalist Chinese during the Chinese Civil War which resumed after the end of World War II. On 25 June 19
Naha Airport is a second class airport located 4 km west of the city hall in Naha, Okinawa. It is Japan's seventh busiest airport and the primary air terminal for passengers and cargo traveling to and from Okinawa Prefecture and handles scheduled international traffic to Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, mainland China; the airport is home to Naha Air Base of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. Naha Airport served 17.5 million passengers in 2014, an increase of 3 million passengers in two years. Oroku Aerodrome, an Imperial Japanese Navy airfield, opened in 1933; the base was renamed Naha Airport. Pan American World Airways and Northwest Orient began service to Naha in 1947; the airport was closed for refurbishment between 1952 and 1954. Japan Airlines began service to Okinawa during this time and used Kadena Air Base. Air America operated interisland flights to Miyako and Ishigaki from 1964 to 1967, when Southwest Airlines took over these routes. Okinawa was returned to Japan in 1972. In 1982, Naha Airport was transferred from US military control to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.
The airport was a popular connecting point between Taipei and Shanghai prior to the opening of direct flights between mainland China and Taiwan. The basic and detailed design engineering works in addition to the construction management phase of the main passenger terminal were awarded in the 1990s in part to the Japan Branch of the American design-build engineering company, The Austin Company, which joined Japanese firms in a joint venture design consortium. Peach, a low-cost carrier based at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, announced that it would establish its second hub at Naha in July 2014, which would have flights to Osaka, Fukuoka and Taipei. ANA Holdings, the parent company of both Peach and Vanilla Air, opened a new LCC terminal in a refurbished portion of the airport's cargo area in October 2012, plans to open new international facilities in October 2014; the airport has been undergoing major development projects that will continue to transform the airport: In 2008, the government agreed to expand the domestic terminal, which will require the relocation of cargo facilities and the international terminal.
The construction of a second 2,700m parallel runway began on March 1, 2014, on 160 hectares of reclaimed land. The new international terminal opened in February 2014; the int'l terminal is again being expanded and will grow by 3000m2 in Nov 2016. A new building connecting the domestic and int'l terminals is due to be completed in 2020 along with the 2nd runway. A LCCT terminal has been in operation since 2012. In addition, a 6 lane under bay tunnel for auto transport linking the airport with the Naha Port boosting the utility of the intermodal facility was completed in 2011; this tunnel will link a 2.6 hectare Free Trade Zone near the Airport with another 122 hectare FTZ located at Nakagusuku Bay. Domestic Terminal - replaced former domestic terminal, extended to include LCCT, other extensions works to conclude in 2016. LCCT Terminal - north annex of domestic terminal. New International Terminal - replaced old international terminal Cargo Terminal - Former domestic terminal became the cargo terminal All Nippon Airways operates an overnight cargo hub at Naha Airport, which receives inbound Boeing 767 freighter flights from key destinations in Japan and Southeast Asia between 1 and 4 a.m. followed by return flights between 4 and 6 a.m. allowing overnight service between these regional hubs as well as onward connections to other ANA and partner carrier flights.
The hub began operations in 2009. On December 11, 1994, Ramzi Yousef planted a bomb on Philippine Airlines Flight 434, which exploded while the flight was en route from Cebu to Tokyo, killing one passenger and injuring ten other passengers; the plane made an emergency landing at Naha Airport safely. On January 31, 2001, Japan Airlines Flight 907, bound for Naha from Tokyo International Airport, nearly collided with another Japan Airlines aircraft; the Boeing 747 for Flight 907 dived and avoided a DC-10. On August 20, 2007, China Airlines Flight 120, a Boeing 737-800, was taxiing to the ramp after landing when a fire started beneath the right wing engulfing the entire plane. All passengers and crew members were evacuated safely. Investigations revealed that part of the slat drive mechanism pierced the fuel tank, the leaking fuel ignited when it came into contact with hot engine parts. On June 3, 2015, an All Nippon Airways Boeing 737 bound for Sapporo aborted takeoff at Naha after a JASDF CH-47 Chinook helicopter crossed its departure path without clearance.
An inbound Japan Transocean Air flight landed on the same runway, stopping 400 meters behind the ANA aircraft, despite an air traffic control order to go around, which the JTA pilot claimed to have received after landing. The airport is served by the Okinawa Urban Monorail which carries passengers from Naha Airport Station to the center of Naha, to the terminal at Shuri Station near Shuri Castle. Bus service is available to many parts of Okinawa Island. Airport website Airports of Okinawa Naha Airport Guide from Japan Airlines Airport information for OKA Charts for OKA / ROAH Current weather for ROAH at NOAA/NWS Accident history for OKA at Aviation Safety Network
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces, one of the seven American uniformed services. 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 youngest branch of the U. S. Armed Forces, the fourth in order of precedence; the USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The Air Force articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, command and control; 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, 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. Air Force components are assigned, as directed by the Secretary of Defense, to the combatant commands, neither the Secretary of the Air Force nor the Chief of Staff of the Air Force have operational command authority over them. Along with conducting independent air and space 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, 406 ICBMs and 170 military satellites. It has a $161 billion budget and is the second largest service branch, with 318,415 active duty airmen, 140,169 civilian personnel, 69,200 reserve airmen, 105,700 Air National Guard airmen. According to the National Security Act of 1947, which created the USAF: In general, the United States Air Force shall include aviation forces both combat and service not otherwise assigned.
It shall be organized and equipped 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. §8062 of Title 10 US Code defines the purpose of the USAF as: to preserve the peace and security, provide for the defense, of the United States, the Territories and possessions, any areas occupied by the United States. The stated mission of the USAF today is to "fly and win...in air and cyberspace". "The United States Air Force will be a trusted and reliable joint partner with our sister services known for integrity in all of our activities, including supporting the joint mission first and foremost. We will provide compelling air and cyber capabilities for use by the combatant commanders. We will excel as stewards of all Air Force resources in service to the American people, while providing precise and reliable Global Vigilance and Power for the nation".
The five core missions of the Air Force have not changed since the Air Force became independent in 1947, but they have evolved, are now articulated as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, command and control. The purpose of all of these core missions is to provide, what the Air Force states as, global vigilance, global reach, global power. Air superiority is "that degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea and special operations forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force". Offensive Counterair is defined as "offensive operations to destroy, disrupt, or neutralize enemy aircraft, launch platforms, their supporting structures and systems both before and after launch, but as close to their source as possible". OCA is the preferred method of countering air and missile threats since it attempts to defeat the enemy closer to its source and enjoys the initiative.
OCA comprises attack operations, sweep and suppression/destruction of enemy air defense. Defensive Counter air is defined as "all the defensive measures designed to detect, identify and destroy or negate enemy forces attempting to penetrate or attack through friendly airspace". A major goal of DCA operations, in concert with OCA operations, is to provide an area from which forces can operate, secure from air and missile threats; the DCA mission comprises both passive defense measures. Active defense is "the employment of limited offensive action and counterattacks to deny a contested area or position to the enemy", it includes both ballistic missile defense and air-breathing threat defense, encompasses point defense, area defense, high-value airborne asset defense. Passive defense is "measures taken to reduce the probability of and to minimize the effects of damage caused by hostile action without the intention of taking the initiative", it includes warning.
The Ryukyu Islands known as the Nansei Islands or the Ryukyu Arc, are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Amami and Sakishima Islands, with Yonaguni the westernmost. The larger are high islands and the smaller coral; the largest is Okinawa Island. The climate of the islands ranges from humid subtropical climate in the north to tropical rainforest climate in the south. Precipitation is high, is affected by the rainy season and typhoons. Except the outlying Daitō Islands, the island chain has two major geologic boundaries, the Tokara Strait between the Tokara and Amami Islands, the Kerama Gap between the Okinawa and Miyako Islands; the islands beyond the Tokara Strait are characterized by their coral reefs. The Ōsumi and Tokara Islands, the northernmost of the islands, fall under the cultural sphere of the Kyushu region of Japan; the Amami, Okinawa and Yaeyama Islands have a native population collectively called the Ryukyuan people, named for the former Ryukyu Kingdom that ruled them.
The varied Ryukyuan languages are traditionally spoken on these islands, the major islands have their own distinct languages. In modern times, the Japanese language is the primary language of the islands, with the Okinawan Japanese dialect prevalently spoken; the outlying Daitō Islands were uninhabited until the Meiji period, when their development was started by people from the Izu Islands south of Tokyo, with the people there speaking the Hachijō language. Administratively, the islands are divided into Kagoshima Prefecture in the north and Okinawa Prefecture in the south, with the divide between the Amami and Okinawa Islands, with the Daitō Islands part of Okinawa Prefecture; the northern islands are collectively called the Satsunan Islands, while the southern part of the chain are called the Ryukyu Islands in Chinese. The Ryukyus are divided into two or three primary groups: either administratively, with the Northern Ryukyus being the islands in Kagoshima Prefecture and the Southern Ryukyus being the islands in Okinawa Prefecture, or geologically, with the islands north of the Tokara Strait being the Northern Ryukyus, those between the Tokara Strait and Kerama Gap being the Central Ryukyus, those south of the Kerama Gap being the Southern Ryukyus.
Following are the grouping and names used by the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department of the Japan Coast Guard. The islands are listed from north to south. Nansei Islands Satsunan Islands Ōsumi Islands with: Tanegashima, Kuchinoerabu, Mageshima in the North-Eastern Group, Takeshima, Iōjima, Kuroshima in the North-Western Group. Tokara Islands: Kuchinoshima, Gajajima, Akusekijima, Kodakarajima, Takarajima Amami Islands: Amami Ōshima, Kakeromajima, Ukeshima, Okinoerabujima, Yoronjima Ryukyu Islands Okinawa Islands: Okinawa Island, Iheya, Aguni, Ie, Iwo Tori Shima Kerama Islands: Tokashiki, Aka, Geruma Sakishima Islands Miyako Islands: Miyakojima, Ikema, Ōgami, Shimoji, Minna, Tarama Yaeyama Islands: Iriomote, Taketomi, Kuroshima, Hatoma, Hateruma, Yonaguni Senkaku Islands: Uotsurijima, Kuba Jima, Taisho Jima, Kita Kojima, Minami Kojima Daitō Islands: Kita Daitō, Minami Daitō, Oki DaitōThe Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, another government organization, responsible for standardization of place names, disagrees with the Japan Coast Guard over some names and their extent, but the two are working on standardization.
They agreed on February 2010, to use Amami-guntō for the Amami Islands. The English and Japanese uses of the term "Ryukyu" differ. In English, the term Ryukyu may apply to the entire chain of islands, while in Japanese Ryukyu refers only to the islands that were part of the Ryūkyū Kingdom after 1624. Nansei-shotō is the official name for the whole island chain in Japanese. Japan has used the name on nautical charts since 1907. Based on the Japanese charts, the international chart series uses Nansei Shoto. Nansei means "southwest", the direction of the island chain from mainland Japan; some humanities scholars prefer the uncommon term Ryūkyū-ko for the entire island chain. In geology, the Ryukyu Arc includes subsurface structures such as the Okinawa Trough and extends to Kyushu. During the American occupation of Amami, the Japanese government objected to them being included under the name "Ryukyu" in English, because they worried that this might mean that the return of the Amami Islands to Japanese control would be delayed until the return of Okinawa.
However, the American occupational government on Amami continued to be called the "Provisional Government for th