Pennsylvania the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle; the Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, New Jersey to the east. Pennsylvania is the 33rd-largest state by area, the 6th-most populous state according to the most recent official U. S. Census count in 2010, it is the 9th-most densely populated of the 50 states. Pennsylvania's two most populous cities are Philadelphia, Pittsburgh; the state capital and its 10th largest city is Harrisburg. Pennsylvania has 140 miles of waterfront along the Delaware Estuary; the state is one of the 13 original founding states of the United States. Part of Pennsylvania, together with the present State of Delaware, had earlier been organized as the Colony of New Sweden.
It was the second state to ratify the United States Constitution, on December 12, 1787. Independence Hall, where the United States Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were drafted, is located in the state's largest city of Philadelphia. During the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in the south central region of the state. Valley Forge near Philadelphia was General Washington's headquarters during the bitter winter of 1777–78. Pennsylvania is 170 miles north to south and 283 miles east to west. Of a total 46,055 square miles, 44,817 square miles are land, 490 square miles are inland waters, 749 square miles are waters in Lake Erie, it is the 33rd-largest state in the United States. Pennsylvania has 51 miles of coastline along Lake Erie and 57 miles of shoreline along the Delaware Estuary. Of the original Thirteen Colonies, Pennsylvania is the only state that does not border the Atlantic Ocean; the boundaries of the state are the Mason–Dixon line to the south, the Twelve-Mile Circle on the Pennsylvania-Delaware border, the Delaware River to the east, 80° 31' W to the west and the 42° N to the north, with the exception of a short segment on the western end, where a triangle extends north to Lake Erie.
Cities include Philadelphia, Reading and Lancaster in the southeast, Pittsburgh in the southwest, the tri-cities of Allentown and Easton in the central east. The northeast includes the former anthracite coal mining cities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton. Erie is located in the northwest. State College serves the central region while Williamsport serves the commonwealth's north-central region as does Chambersburg the south-central region, with York and the state capital Harrisburg on the Susquehanna River in the east-central region of the Commonwealth and Altoona and Johnstown in the west-central region; the state has five geographical regions, namely the Allegheny Plateau and Valley, Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Erie Plain. New York Ontario Maryland Delaware West Virginia New Jersey Ohio Pennsylvania's diverse topography produces a variety of climates, though the entire state experiences cold winters and humid summers. Straddling two major zones, the majority of the state, with the exception of the southeastern corner, has a humid continental climate.
The southern portion of the state has a humid subtropical climate. The largest city, has some characteristics of the humid subtropical climate that covers much of Delaware and Maryland to the south. Summers are hot and humid. Moving toward the mountainous interior of the state, the winter climate becomes colder, the number of cloudy days increases, snowfall amounts are greater. Western areas of the state locations near Lake Erie, can receive over 100 inches of snowfall annually, the entire state receives plentiful precipitation throughout the year; the state may be subject to severe weather from spring through summer into fall. Tornadoes occur annually in the state, sometimes in large numbers, such as 30 recorded tornadoes in 2011; as of 1600, the tribes living in Pennsylvania were the Algonquian Lenape, the Iroquoian Susquehannock & Petun and the Siouan Monongahela Culture, who may have been the same as a little known tribe called the Calicua, or Cali. Other tribes who entered the region during the colonial era were the Trockwae, Saponi, Nanticoke, Conoy Piscataway, Iroquois Confederacy—possibly among others.
Other tribes, like the Erie, may have once held some land in Pennsylvania, but no longer did so by the year 1600. Both the Dutch and the English claimed both sides of the Delaware River as part of their colonial lands in America; the Dutch were the first to take possession. By June 3, 1631, the Dutch had begun settling the Delmarva Peninsula by establishing the Zwaanendael Colony on the site of present-day Lewes, Delaware. In 1638, Sweden established the New Sweden Colony, in the region of Fort Christina, on the site of present-day Wilmington, Delaware. New Sweden claimed and, for the most part, controlled the lower Delaware River region (parts of present-day Delaware, New Jersey, Pe
Orlando is a city in the U. S. state of Florida and the county seat of Orange County. Located in Central Florida, it is the center of the Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2,509,831, according to U. S. Census Bureau figures released in July 2017; these figures make it the 23rd-largest metropolitan area in the United States, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States, the third-largest metropolitan area in Florida. As of 2015, Orlando had an estimated city-proper population of 280,257, making it the 73rd-largest city in the United States, the fourth-largest city in Florida, the state's largest inland city; the City of Orlando is nicknamed "The City Beautiful," and its symbol is the fountain at Lake Eola. Orlando is known as "The Theme Park Capital of the World" and in 2016 its tourist attractions and events drew more than 72 million visitors; the Orlando International Airport is the thirteenth-busiest airport in the United States and the 29th-busiest in the world.
As one of the world's most visited tourist destinations, Orlando's famous attractions form the backbone of its tourism industry. The two most significant of these attractions are Walt Disney World, opened by the Walt Disney Company in 1971, located 21 miles southwest of Downtown Orlando in Bay Lake. With the exception of Walt Disney World, most major attractions are located along International Drive with one of these attractions being the Orlando Eye; the city is one of the busiest American cities for conferences and conventions. Like other major cities in the Sun Belt, Orlando grew from the 1980s up into the first decade of the 21st century. Orlando is home to the University of Central Florida, the largest university campus in the United States in terms of enrollment as of 2015. In 2010, Orlando was listed as a "Gamma−" level global city in the World Cities Study Group's inventory. Orlando ranks as the fourth-most popular American city based on where people want to live according to a 2009 Pew Research Center study.
Fort Gatlin, as the Orlando area was once known, was established at what is now just south of the city limits by the 4th U. S. Artillery under the command of Ltc. Alexander C. W. Fanning on November 9, 1838, during the construction of a series of fortified encampments across Florida during the Second Seminole War; the fort and surrounding area were named for Dr. John S. Gatlin, an Army physician, killed in Dade's Massacre on December 28, 1835; the site of construction for Fort Gatlin, a defensible position with fresh water between three small lakes, was chosen because the location was on a main trail and is less than 250 yards from a nearby Council Oak tree where Native Americans had traditionally met. King Phillip and Coacoochee frequented this area and the tree was alleged to be the place where the previous 1835 ambush that had killed over 100 soldiers had been planned; when the U. S. military abandoned the fort in 1839, the surrounding community was built up by settlers. Prior to being known by its current name, Orlando was once known as Jernigan.
This name originates from the first permanent settlers and Aaron Jernigan, cattlemen who acquired land two miles northwest of Fort Gatlin along the west end of Lake Holden in July 1843 by the terms of the Armed Occupation Act. Aaron Jernigan became Orange County's first State Representative in 1845 but his pleas for additional military protection went unanswered. Fort Gatlin was reoccupied by the military for a few weeks during October and November 1849 and subsequently a volunteer militia was left to defend the settlement. A historical marker indicates that by 1850 the Jernigan homestead served as the nucleus of a village named Jernigan. According to an account written years by his daughter, at that time, about 80 settlers were forced to shelter for about a year in "a stockade that Aaron Jernigan built on the north side of Lake Conway". One of the county's first records, a grand jury's report, mentions a stockade where it states homesteaders were "driven from their homes and forced to huddle together in hasty defences."
Aaron Jernigan led a local volunteer militia during 1852. A Post Office opened at Jernigan in 1850. Jernigan appears on an 1855 map of Florida and by 1856 the area had become the county seat of Orange County. In 1857, the Post Office was removed from Jernigan, opened under the name of Orlando at a new location in present-day downtown Orlando. During the American Civil War, the Post Office closed, but reopened in 1866; the move is believed to be sparked, in part, by Aaron Jernigan's fall from grace after he was relieved of his militia command by military officials in 1856. His behavior was so notorious that Secretary of War Jefferson Davis wrote, "It is said they are more dreadful than the Indians." In 1859, Jernigan and his sons were accused of committing a murder at the town's post office. They were transported to Ocala, but escaped. There are at least five stories as to; the most common stories are that the name Orlando originated from the tale of a man who died in 1835 during a attack by Native Americans in the area during the Second Seminole War.
Several of the stories relay an oral history of the marker for a person named Orlando, the double entendre, "Here lies Orlando." One variant includes a man named Orlando, passing by on his way to Tampa with a herd of oxen and was buried in a marked grave. At a meeting in 1857, debate had grown concerning the name of the town. Pioneer William B. Hull recalled
Wabash College is a private, men's, liberal arts college in Crawfordsville, Indiana with about 920 students. Founded in 1832 by several Dartmouth College graduates and Midwestern leaders, Wabash is ranked in the top tier of national liberal arts colleges. Following a liberal arts curriculum, the College provides undergraduate instruction in three academic divisions and offers 39 majors in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, with dual degree programs in Engineering and Accounting, pre-professional programs in law and medicine; the college was named "The Wabash Teachers Seminary and Manual Labor College", a name shortened to its current form by 1851. Many of the founders were Presbyterian ministers, yet believed that Wabash should be independent and non-sectarian. Patterning it after the liberal arts colleges of New England, they resolved "that the institution be at first a classical and English high school, rising into a college as soon as the wants of the country demand." Among these ministers was Caleb Mills, who became Wabash College's first faculty member.
Dedicated to education in the then-primitive Mississippi Valley area, he would come to be known as the father of the Indiana public education system. Elihu W. Baldwin, the first president of the college, served from 1835 until 1840, he came from a church in New York City and accepted the presidency though he knew that Wabash was at that time threatened with bankruptcy. After his death, he was succeeded by Charles White, a graduate of Dartmouth College and the brother-in-law of Rev. Edmund Otis Hovey, a professor at the college. Joseph F. Tuttle, who became president of Wabash College in 1862 and served for 30 years, worked with his administrators to improve town-gown relations in Crawfordsville. Gronert described him "an eloquent preacher, a sound administrator and an astute handler of public relations." He is the namesake of Tuttle Grade School in Crawfordsville and Tuttle Junior High School, now Tuttle Middle School. Gregory D. Hess became the 16th President of Wabash College July 1, 2013. Prior to coming to Wabash, Dr. Hess had been Dean of the Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Claremont McKenna College at Claremont, California.
During World War II, Wabash College was one of 131 colleges and universities offered students a path to a Navy commission as part of the V-12 Navy College Training Program. In the early 1900s, the College closed its "Preparatory School", which prepared incoming students from less-rigorous rural high schools that lacked the courses required for entrance to the College. In 1996, Wabash became the first college in America to stage Tony Kushner's Angels in America. Wabash College's curriculum is divided into three: Division I, Division II, Division III representing the natural sciences and arts, social sciences respectively. Wabash offers 25 academic programs as 32 accompanying minors. Seniors at Wabash College take a three-day comprehensive exam in their major subject area. There are two days of one day of oral exams; the two days of written exams differ by major, but the oral exams are uniform. A senior meets with three professors, one from his major, another from his minor and a third professor who represents an outside perspective, can be from any discipline.
Over the course of an hour a senior answers questions from the professors which can relate to anything during his studies at Wabash. A senior must pass the comprehensive examinations. Rhyneship was a freshman orientation program that took first semester freshmen, "rhynes" and acculturated them to Wabash. While some aspects of rhyneship were less visible, the most visible was the wearing of the "rhynie pot", a green hat with a red bill; when approaching a member of the faculty or Senior Council, the freshman would dip his pot as a sign of respect. This tradition is carried on by the pledges of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Rhyneship is continued through the Sphinx Club, a secret society made up of campus leaders, which aims to unite the campus, honor traditions, create an atmosphere of support and prestige. Sphinx Club members don white "pots" to distinguish themselves on campus; the student government, referred to collectively as the Student Body of Wabash College, comprises executive and legislative branches.
The executive authority of the student body is vested in a president and vice president, who chair the Senior Council and Student Senate, respectively. They are non-voting members of the body that they do not chair; the president has broad powers of appointment over all Senate standing committees. The vice-president possesses a tie-breaking vote in the Student Senate; the Student Senate of Wabash College is the legislative authority, consisting of senators from each residence hall and fraternity, four representatives from each of the three underclasses, the chairmen of the Senate's standing committees. The body of 32 voting members manages an annual budget of over $400,000, allocating funds and setting guidelines for recognized associations; the Senate serves as a general student forum. The Senior Council of Wabash College is a special quasi-legislative body comprising the presidents of certain student organizations and self-selected at-large councilmen; the Senior Council is responsible for representing student concerns to the faculty and administration, as well as fostering campus unity and maintaining proper regard for college traditions.
The Inter-Fraternity Council is a body composed of representatives of each of the college's fraternities. It helps to organize recruitment activities, all-campus entertainment, honors the chapters with the best Grade Point Average and Intramural Athletics record. Stu
Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College is a private liberal arts college in Washington, Pennsylvania. The college traces its origin to three log cabin colleges in Washington County established by three Presbyterian missionaries to the American frontier in the 1780s: John McMillan, Thaddeus Dod, Joseph Smith; these early schools grew into two competing academies, with Jefferson College located in Canonsburg and Washington College located in Washington. The two colleges merged in 1865 to form Jefferson College; the 60 acre campus has more than 40 buildings, with the oldest dating to 1793. The college's academic emphasis is on the liberal arts and the sciences, with a focus on preparing students for graduate and professional schools. Campus activities include various religious and general interest clubs, as well as academic and professional-themed organizations; the college has a strong history of competing literary societies, dating back before the union of Jefferson and Washington Colleges. Students operate a college radio station, a campus newspaper, a literary journal.
The athletic program competes in NCAA Division III. The football team has been successful over its history competing in the 1922 Rose Bowl. A large majority of students participate in intramural athletics. Nearly all students live on campus and one third are members of fraternities or sororities. A number of noteworthy alumni have attended the college or its predecessor institutions, including James G. Blaine, William Holmes McGuffey, Joseph Ruggles Wilson, the father of President Woodrow Wilson, Pete Henry. Washington & Jefferson College traces its origin to three log cabin colleges established by three frontier clergymen in the 1780s: John McMillan, Thaddeus Dod, Joseph Smith; the three men, all graduates from the College of New Jersey, came to present-day Washington County to plant churches and spread Presbyterianism to what was the American frontier beyond the Appalachian Mountains. John McMillan, the most prominent of the three founders because of his strong personality and longevity, came to the area in 1775 and built his log cabin college in 1780 near his church in Chartiers.
Thaddeus Dod, known as a keen scholar, built his log cabin college in Lower Ten Mile in 1781. Joseph Smith taught classical studies in his college, called "The Study," at Buffalo. Washington Academy was chartered by the Pennsylvania General Assembly on September 24, 1787; the first members of the board of trustees included Reverends Smith. After a difficult search for a headmaster, in which the trustees consulted Benjamin Franklin, the trustees unanimously selected Thaddeus Dod, considered to be the best scholar in western Pennsylvania. Amid financial difficulties and unrest from the Whiskey Rebellion, the Academy held no classes from 1791 to 1796. In 1792, the Academy secured four lots at Wheeling and Lincoln street from William Hoge and began construction on the stone Academy Building. During the Whiskey Rebellion, portions of David Bradford's militia camped on a hillside that would become home to the unified Washington & Jefferson College. In October 1792, after a year's delay from its official incorporation resulting from "trouble with Indians," McMillan was chosen as the headmaster and Canonsburg was chosen as the location for the "Canonsburg Academy."
At a subsequent unknown date, McMillan transferred his students from the log cabin to Canonsburg Academy. Canonsburg Academy was chartered by the General Assembly on March 11, 1794, thus placing it ahead of its sister school, Washington Academy, without a faculty, students, or facilities. On January 15, 1802, with McMillan as president of the board, the General Assembly granted a charter for "a college at Canonsburgh." In 1802, Canonsburg Academy was reconstituted as Jefferson College, with John McMillan serving as the first President of the Board of Trustees. In 1806, Matthew Brown petitioned the Pennsylvania General Assembly to grant Washington Academy a charter, allowing it to be re-christened as Washington College. At various times over the next 60 years, the various parties within the two colleges pursued unification with each other, but the question of where the unified college would be located thwarted those efforts. In 1817, a disagreement over a perceived agreement for unification erupted into "The College War" and threatened the existence of both colleges.
In the ensuing years, both colleges began to undertake risky financial moves over-selling scholarships. Thanks to the leadership of Matthew Brown, Jefferson College was in a stronger position to weather the financial storm for a longer period. Desperate for funds, Washington College accepted an offer from the Synod of Wheeling to take control of the college, a move, supposed to stabilize the finances for a period of time. However, Washington College undertook another series of risky financial moves that crippled its finances. Following the Civil War, both colleges were short on students and on funds, causing them to join together as Washington & Jefferson College in 1865; the charter provided for the college to operate at both Canonsburg and Washington, a position that caused significant difficulty for the administration trying to rescue the college amid ill feelings over the unification. Jonathan Edwards, a pastor from Baltimore, president of Hanover College, was elected the first president of the unified Washington & Jefferson College on April 4, 1866.
Edwards encountered significant challenges, including the difficulties of administering a college across two campuses, as well as old prejudices and hard feelings among those still loyal to either Jefferson College or Washing
Millikin University is a private university in Decatur, Illinois. It was founded in 1901 by prominent Decatur businessman James Millikin and is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church; the Decaturian known as the Dec, is the bi-weekly student newspaper. The Decaturian was established in 1903 and its issues are archived online from 1903–1951, made possible by the Digital-Decaturian Project. WJMU is Millikin University's student-operated freeform format radio station. In addition to its musical responsibilities, WJMU creates its own public service announcements, news, Millikin sports programming and promotional materials. Alpha Phi Omega Sigma Tau Delta Alpha Psi Omega Sigma Delta Pi Since their first year of athletics in the 1903–04 academic year and prior to joining the NCAA Division III and the CCIW in the 1946–47 season, Millikin competed as an Independent of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Millikin University teams have since participated in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III.
The Big Blue are a member of the College Conference of Wisconsin. Men's sports include baseball, cross country, golf, soccer and diving, tennis and field, volleyball. Jodi Benson – Actress: voice of Ariel in the 1989 film The Little Mermaid Sierra Boggess – Actress: originated roles of Ariel in 2007 Broadway production of The Little Mermaid and Rosalie Mullins in the 2015 Broadway production of School of Rock, she portrayed Christine Daae in 2010's Love Never Dies and in the 25th anniversary performances of The Phantom of the Opera on both West End and Broadway. Hedy Burress – Actress: Wyleen Pritchett in Boston Common. George Corbett – football player: Chicago Bears running back from 1932–1938 Sid Gepford - NFL player in 1920 Lori Kerans - basketball coach, gave Millikin first NCAA D3 national championship win. Long – Negro Leagues baseball player and college football coach: played four seasons in Negro National League and amassed a 227-151-31 coaching record from 1921–1965 at various colleges including three Black college football national championships Harry Long – college football coach, won a Black college football national championship in 1924 as coach of Paul Quinn College.
Mike Rowland – pitcher for San Francisco Giants, 1980–1981 Don Shroyer – college football coach at Millikin University and Southern Illinois University Virgil Wagner – Canadian Football League player, Montreal Alouettes halfback from 1946–54. Rodney L. Davis – United States Representative for Illinois' 13th Congressional district. Thomas W. Ewing – former United States Congressman Melvin R. Laird, Sr. – Wisconsin State Senator and clergyman James Benton Parsons – Federal judge.
Decatur is the largest city and the county seat of Macon County in the U. S. state of Illinois, with a population of 76,122 as of the 2010 Census. The city was founded in 1829 and is situated along the Sangamon River and Lake Decatur in Central Illinois. In 2017, the city's estimated population was 72,174; the city is home of private Millikin University and public Richland Community College. Decatur has vast industrial and agricultural processing production, including the North American headquarters of agricultural conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland, international agribusiness Tate & Lyle's largest corn-processing plant, the designing and manufacturing facilities for Caterpillar Inc.'s wheel-tractor scrapers, off-highway trucks, large mining trucks. Decatur is located at 39°51′6″N 88°56′39″W. Decatur is three hours southwest of Chicago, 40 miles due east of Springfield, the state capital, two hours northeast of St. Louis by car. According to the 2010 census, Decatur has an area of 46.91 square miles, of which 42.22 square miles is land and 4.69 square miles is water.
Lakes include Lake Decatur, formed in 1923 by the damming of the Sangamon River. The Decatur Metropolitan Statistical Area includes surrounding towns of Argenta, Blue Mound, Forsyth, Long Creek, Maroa, Mount Zion, Oakley and Warrensburg; as of the 2010 census, there were 76,122 people, 32,344 households, 18,991 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,800.9 people per square mile. There were 36,134 housing units at an average density of 854.8 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 71.6% White, 23.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.9% from other races, 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.2% of the population. There were 32,344 households, out of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.4% were married couples living together, 16.9% had a female household with no husband present, 41.3% were non-families. 35.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.86. In the city, the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 10.8% from ages 18 to 24, 23.4% from ages 25 to 44, 26.8% from ages 45 to 64, 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.0 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 85.3 males. The median income for a household in the city was $40,777, the median income for a family was $50,176. Males had a median income of $46,579 versus $34,389 for females; the per capita income for the city was $23,601. About 20.1% of families and 25.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.5% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over. A new branding effort for Decatur and Macon County was unveiled in Limitless Decatur; the intention of the marketing strategy is to attract and retain business and residents by promoting the Decatur area as modern and progressive with opportunities to live and develop.
For much of the 20th century, the city was known as "The Soybean Capital of the World" owing to its being the location of the headquarters of A. E. Staley Manufacturing Company, a major grain processor in the 1920s, which popularized the use of soybeans to produce products for human consumption such as oil and flour. At one time, over a third of all the soybeans grown in the world were processed in Decatur, Illinois. In 1955 a group of Decatur businessmen founded the Soy Capital Bank to trade on the nickname. Decatur was awarded the All-America City Award in 1960; the city's symbol is the Transfer House, an 1896 octagonal structure, built in the original town square where the city's mass transit lines met. Designed by Chicago architect William W. Boyington, who designed the famous Chicago Water Tower, the Transfer House was constructed to serve as a shelter for passengers transferring from one conveyance to another, it was regarded as one of the most beautiful structures of its kind in the United States, a symbol of the city's high culture and modernity just decades after it was founded as a small collection of log cabins.
The second story of the building consisted of an open-air gazebo used as a stage for public speeches and concerts by the Goodman Band. Sitting in the middle of the square as it was, increasing automobile traffic flowing through downtown Decatur on US 51 was forced to circle around the structure, the Transfer House came to be seen by some as an impediment; the Illinois Department of Transportation, who maintained the US 51 highway route through Decatur, requested it be removed, in 1962, the structure was transported by truck to a nearby park, where it stands today. In that location, it has served as a bus shelter, a visitor information center, civic group offices. Since 1966, Decatur has been a sister city with Tokorozawa, Japan. In July 1972, the administrations of 19 independent smaller municipalities were merged to form Decatur's second sister city, Lower Saxony, Germany; the 19 towns and villages forming Seevetal were Beckedorf, Emmelndorf, Fleestedt, Glüsingen, Groß Moor, Hittfeld, Horst, Hörsten, Klein Moor, Maschen, Metzendorf, Ohlendorf and Ramelsloh.
The Decatur Sister Cities Committee annually coordinates both inbound and outbound high school students, who serve as ambassadors between the three cities. Since mid-2012
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.