819th RED HORSE Squadron
The 819th RED HORSE Squadron is a unit of civil engineers based at Malmstrom Air Force Base, who are responsible for heavy duty repairs around the world. Activated at Dyess Air Force Base, the unit has been active and inactive at several different bases over the last 55 years; the unit was most activated as the first Air Force-Air National Guard RED HORSE associate unit at Malmstrom on 1 June 1997. The unit is ready at all times to deploy to anywhere in the world and remain stationed for an indefinite amount of time; the squadron's most notable deployment was in Vietnam, where it received numerous awards for its work during the war. The 819th Squadron's mission is to "rapidly mobilize people and heavy construction vehicles to anywhere in the world where air power must be employed." The squadron trains to be able to deploy and remain self-sufficient for an indefinite length of time. During wartime, the main responsibility for the squadron is to do heavy repairs on Air Force facilities, including runway systems.
The squadron provides support on weapon systems used to guard a base in hostile environments. In non-wartime, the unit is responsible for training to be ready for wartime responsibilities. To do this, the unit participates in training competitions, humanitarian programs, as well as base renovations and construction. In Abilene, at Dyess AFB, the 819th RED HORSE squadron was first known as the 819th installations squadron on 15 June 1956, it was designated the 819th Civil Engineering Squadron before it was inactivated at Dyess on 25 June 1961. The unit was activated and re-designated again at Forbes AFB as the 819th Civil Engineering Squadron; the unit was moved to Thailand to organize and deployed to Phù Cát Air Base, South Vietnam, in May 1966. The unit was responsible for heavy construction at the base, completing much of the base and its facilities; the unit installed more than 5,000 feet of aircraft revetments along with moving over 1,500,000 cubic yards of earth. The unit remained at Phù Cát until 1970, when it was moved to Vietnam to close the base.
The unit returned from Vietnam in April 1970 to Westover AFB until it was assigned to McConnell AFB in 1973. In 1979, the unit was stationed at RAF Wethersfield, UK, to be in charge of runway repairs for US forces in Europe and its original job as a heavy repair unit; the unit was inactivated in August 1990 and would remain inactive until 1 June 1997, when it was activated at Malmstrom AFB as the first Air Force-Air National Guard RED HORSE associate unit. The 819th RED HORSE squadron was stationed at Phu Cat AB and was responsible for building facilities in the former Viet Cong training area; the 819th unit was the only unit at the base to maintain heavy equipment. The men from the squadron were responsible for the installment of T-17 membrane and AM 2 matting along with all the earth moving required to build revetments. To build all the buildings and roads for the base, the 819th had to move over 1,000,000 cubic yards of earth; the operation and base construction went smoothly because the 819th made sure that all equipment was operating properly along with preemptive maintenance.
Daily maintenance was required for all machinery. This upkeep made it possible to complete the mission and effectively. One of the largest challenges for the Logistics section was the acquisition of materials and food because the base was at the end of the supply line. In a single year, the 819th Civil Engineering Squadron was productive: "They had moved 1.659 million cubic yards of earth, poured 15,500 cubic yards of concrete, constructed buildings totaling 633,000 square feet. In addition, they had placed 2.1 million square feet of AM-2 matting, finished over 50,000 linear feet of utility lines and storm drainage facilities, erected more than 5,000 linear feet of aircraft revetments and completed more than 5 miles of road". From the Phu Cat A. B. the 819th deployed unit 1 to Pleiku A. B. in the Central Highlands. Detached Unit 1 constructed barracks, laid runway matting and erected aircraft revetments. Typical duties included, hands on construction work,supervision of Vietnamese civilian workers.
Much of the mission in 1967-1968-1969 involved repairing damage from 122MM Rocket and 82MM Mortar attacks due to constant Vietcong and NVA activity in the area. The unit members ran convoys off base under their own security for supplies and to safely pick up and return civilian employees. Members worked 14 hour days with Sundays off. In recent years, the 819th RED HORSE squadron has been active in non-war zones to improve infrastructure and provide support to bases around the world. In November 1998, the 819th along with members of the 820th, went to Central America to repair damages to infrastructure done by Hurricane Mitch. In October 2000, the 819th deployed to Prince Sultan Air base to pave a dirt munitions road; the road was making travel difficult, so the unit paved over a mile of road. By February 2003, the 819th established an airborne capability by training with the U. S. Army and Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency; the unit trained to establish MARES. After training, the 819th completed several projects in Southwest Asia, supported Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom by participating in large construction projects at several bases.
In 2014 the 819th RHS was targeted for downsizing and possible closure or relocated to Guam and be combined with the 554th RHS. The downsizing never took place but the 819th RED HORSE took a major hit to its manpower. Contituted as the 819th Installation Squadron on 23 April 1956Activated on
Moody Air Force Base
Moody Air Force Base is a United States Air Force installation near Valdosta, Georgia. The 29th Training Wing was established at Moody Field in 1941 for primary flight training. On 1 May 1945 Moody was transferred to the First Air Force. On 1 November 1945 Moody was transferred to Army Air Forces Training Command. On 1 September 1947 Moody was transferred to Tactical Air Command. On 13 January 1948 the base was redesignated Moody Air Force Base. On 1 December 1948 the base was transferred to Continental Air Command. On 1 April 1951 Moody AFB was transferred to Strategic Air Command. On 1 September 1951 Moody AFB was transferred from SAC to Air Training Command and the 3550th Training Wing was established there. In 1952 Moody was assigned to undertake combat crew training. In July 1957 following the cessation of interceptor training at Tyndall Air Force Base, advanced interceptor training and Tyndall's F-86D Sabres were transferred to Moody, while Moody's F-89Ds were transferred to James Connally Air Force Base.
On 3 November 1960 Moody stopped interceptor training and became a consolidated pilot training school. In 1961 following the closure of Graham Air Base, Moody became responsible for foreign pilot training. From 1962 onwards, increasing numbers of Republic of Vietnam Air Force pilots were trained on Moody's 30 T-28 Trojans. In 1963 foreign pilot training was moved to Randolph Air Force Base. On 1 December 1973 the 3550th Training Wing was inactivated and replaced by the new 38th Flying Training Wing. On 1 December 1975 Moody AFB was transferred from Air Training Command to Tactical Air Command and the 38th Flying Training Wing was inactivated. On 30 September 1975 the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing moved to Moody AFB from Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base. On 1 October 1991 the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing was redesignated the 347th Fighter Wing. On 1 July 1994 was redesignated the 347th Wing, a composite wing with fighter, close air support and airlift elements. On 1 April 1997 the 41st Rescue Squadron and the 71st Rescue Squadron moved to Moody from Patrick Air Force Base and the 23d Wing was assigned to the 347th Wing.
On 30 June 2000 the 70th Fighter Squadron was inactivated at Moody. On 2 February 2001 the 69th Fighter Squadron was inactivated at Moody. On 30 April 2001 the 68th Fighter Squadron was inactivated at Moody. On 1 May 2001 the 38th Rescue Squadron was activated at Moody and the 347th Wing was redesignated the 347th Rescue Wing. On 31 July 2000 the 479th Flying Training Group was reactivated at Moody to conduct primary Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training and Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals training. On 2 April 2001 the 39th Flying Training Squadron was activated at Moody and it was joined by the 3d Flying Training Squadron. On 1 October 2001 the 435th Flying Training Squadron moved to Moody. On 21 July 2007 the 479th Flying Training Group was inactivated and its aircraft and equipment were redistributed to other AETC units. On 1 October 2003 the 347th Rescue Wing was assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command. On 1 October 2006 the 23rd Fighter Group was redesignated as the 23d Wing and activated at Moody AFB.
On the same date the 347th Rescue Wing was inactivated and the 347th Operations Group was redesignated the 347th Rescue Group which became a subordinate element of the 23d Wing. This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/. Moody Air Force Base official website
Air Force District of Washington
The Air Force District of Washington is a Direct Reporting Unit of the United States Air Force. AFDW oversees Air Force operations in the Washington, D. C. region. As a Direct Reporting Unit, AFDW is directly subordinate to the Chief of Staff, United States Air Force, serves as the Air Force service component to the JFHQ-NCR. AFDW was headquartered on Bolling Air Force Base, but changed to Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington. AFDW originates back to the post-World War II era when Bolling Field Command was established on 15 December 1946. Bolling Field Command absorbed functions from various support organizations in the Washington, D. C. vicinity. It was redesignated Headquarters Command, USAF, on 17 March 1958; when Headquarters Command, USAF, inactivated on 1 July 1976, many of its functions passed to Military Airlift Command. The Air Force District of Washington was constituted and activated, on 1 October 1985, it was inactivated on 15 due to declining defense budgets. AFDW was reactivated on 7 July 2005, to realign the Air Force command structure in the NCR with the other military services, improve Air Force support to Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region.
AFDW oversees two wings and one group on JBA-NAFW: the 11th Wing, the 79th Medical Wing and the 844th Communication Group. The 79th Medical Wing and 844th Communications Group both have specialized missions and serve as a single Air Force voice in the National Capital Region for their respective fields of expertise; the 11th Wing fulfills duties as the host base organization of JBA-NAFW, while supporting AFDW requirements. AFDW supports airmen in more than 2,000 Air Force Elements in more than 500 locations in 108 countries. AFDW serves as the Air Force service component for coordination purposes to JFHQ-NCR and the supporting command to Joint Task Force-National Capital Region/Medical. JFHQ-NCR has an emergency or major event operation'mobilization' function as Joint Task Force-National Capital Region; when the JFHQ-NCR transitions to the Joint Task Force NCR, the 320th Air Expeditionary Wing activates and becomes the Air Force service component of JTF-NCR. The Commander of AFDW serves as the Commander, 320 AEW.
Air Force Mission Directive 13 delineates missions and assigned duties applicable to AFDW in both its worldwide Air Force service role and its JTF-NCR Air Force service component role. AFDW oversees the following installations: Joint Base Andrews—Naval Air Facility Washington, Maryland—The 11th Wing, the 11th Medical Group, 844th Communications Group Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling, District of Columbia—Support operations and USAF Honor Guard and USAF Band; the Pentagon—Support operations United States Air Force portal Military of the United States portal Attribution: This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/. Official AFDW website
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force
The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force is a unique non-commissioned rank in the United States Air Force. The holder of this rank and position of office represents the highest enlisted level of leadership in the Air Force, as such, provides direction for the enlisted corps and represents their interests, as appropriate, to the American public, to those in all levels of government; the one exception to the status of the CMSAF as the highest-ranking enlisted member of the Air Force, which has yet to occur, is when an Air Force chief is serving as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this instance, the SEAC would outrank the CMSAF; the CMSAF is appointed by the Air Force Chief of Staff and serves as the senior enlisted advisor to the Air Force Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Air Force on all issues regarding the welfare, readiness and proper utilization and progress of the enlisted force. While the CMSAF is a non-commissioned officer, the billet is protocol equivalent to a lieutenant general.
The current Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force is Chief Kaleth O. Wright. On February 17, 2017, Chief Kaleth O. Wright succeeded Chief James A. Cody, to become the 18th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. On November 1, 2004, the CMSAF's rank insignia was updated to include the Great Seal of the United States of America and two stars in the upper field; this puts the insignia in line with those of the Army and Marine Corps which have similar insignia to denote their senior enlisted servicemen. The laurel wreath around the star in the lower field remained unchanged, to retain the legacy of the Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force; the CMSAF wears distinctive collar insignia. Traditionally, enlisted airmen's collar insignia was silver-colored "U. S." within a ring. The CMSAF's collar brass replaced the standard ring with a silver laurel wreath; the CMSAF wears a distinctive cap device. Enlisted airmen's cap device is the Coat of Arms of the United States, surrounded by a ring, all struck from silver-colored metal.
Much as with the position's distinctive collar brass, the ring is replaced with a laurel wreath for the CMSAF. The Sergeant Major of the Army wears an identical cap device, albeit of gold-colored metal; the Sergeant Major of the Army, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman are the only members of the United States armed forces below the rank of brigadier general/rear admiral, lower half to be authorized a positional color. First considered in 1992, the SMA's color has been authorized since 22 March 1999; the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force colors were authorized in January 2013. The official term of address for the CMSAF is "Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force" or "Chief." CMSAF insignia timeline Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Sergeant Major of the Army Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Senior Enlisted Advisor for the National Guard Bureau
325th Fighter Wing
The 325th Fighter Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force based in Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The 325th Fighter Wing’s primary mission is to provide air dominance training for F-22 Raptor pilots and maintenance personnel and air battle managers to support the combat Air Force. Training for F-22 pilots is performed in the 43d Fighter Squadron; the 325th Air Control Squadron trains air battle managers for assignment to combat Air Force units. Additionally, wing personnel manage the southeastern air combat maneuvering instrumentation range and provide mission-ready F-22 air dominance forces in support of the Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command /1st Air Force contingency plans; the 325th Fighter Wing is commanded by Colonel Derek C. France, who assumed command 24 July 2014. Other specialties trained under the 325th Fighter Wing include F-22 intelligence officer training, F-22 crew chief training and officer and enlisted air traffic controller training; the 325th Fighter Wing is host to more than 30 tenant organizations located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.
The wing comprises the 325th Operations Group, 325th Maintenance Group, 325th Mission Support Group and 325th Medical Group. From 1983 to 2010, training for F-15 pilots was performed at Tyndall by the 1st, 2d, 95th Fighter Squadrons. During this period, the 325th FW hosted training for F-15 Maintenance personnel, Intelligence Officers assigned to F-15 units; the 1st Fighter Squadron was inactivated in 2006. The 2d and 95th FS's were inactivated in May and September 2010, respectively. However, with the return to Air Combat Command, the 325th FW gained a combat-coded F-22 squadron. In doing so, the 95th Fighter Squadron was reactivated on 11 October 2013 as an operational F-22 Raptor unit. In August 2014, the 2d was reactivated as the 2d Fighter Training Squadron. Flying the Northrop T-38 Talon, the 2d provides adversary training support to F-22 squadrons; the 325th Fighter Wing was established on 10 May 1948 and activated on 9 June 1948. It conducted air defense of the U. S. west coast, 1948–1952 and 1956–1968.
Beginning in spring 1949, the 325th conducted the All Weather Combat Crew Training School. During 1950, the wing controlled a troop carrier squadron and from May 1950 to June 1951, provided training for elements of a troop carrier wing. On 6 February 1952 the Wing was inactivated and replaced by the 4704th Air Defense Wing, which assumed most of its operational role, while the 567th Air Base Group assumed its host base functions. An Air Defense Command program to reactivate historic units named "Project Arrow" resulted in the reactivation of the 325th Fighter Group on 18 August 1955; the 325th group assumed the mission and equipment of the 567th Air Defense Group. The 325th served as the "host" unit at McChord Air Force Base until October 1956. From February to July 1968, the wing operated an air defense detachment at Osan Air Base, South Korea; the 325th was again inactivated in late 1968. The 325th Fighter Wing was activated on 18 October 1956 and was assigned the 325th group as a subordinate unit controlling its operational squadrons.
On 22 October 1962, before President John F. Kennedy told Americans that missiles were in place in Cuba, the wing dispersed a portion of its force, equipped with nuclear tipped missiles to Paine Air Force Base at the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis; these planes returned to McChord after the crisis. On 15 March 1963 two Soviet bombers overflew Alaska and Alaskan Air Command F-102s were unable to intercept them; the response to this intrusion was to deploy ten F-106s from the wing to Alaska in what was called Operation White Shoes. However, maintaining these aircraft for an extended period of time put a strain on the wing's combat readiness back at McChord, a detachment of maintenance personnel was established to maintain the planes in Alaska; the wing got relief from this commitment while it was upgrading its F-106s from the 1st Fighter Wing, which relieved it from March to June 1964. Operation White Shoes terminated in 1965 and the unit's planes returned home; the wing was reactivated at Tyndall Air Force Base in 1981.
It provided Air Defense Weapons Center operational and technical advice on air defense and tactics from, 1981–1983. It provided test and evaluation new air defense equipment, including use of the PQM-102 and QF-100, former operational aircraft modified to function as manned/unmanned drones. In October 1983, the wing assumed a new mission of conducting qualification training of tactical aircrews. Beginning in 1983 it deployed T-33 and F-15 aircraft to USAF, Air National Guard, Marine Corps, Navy air units to provide electronic countermeasures and dissimilar air combat training and to increase aircrew combat proficiency; the wing performed alert duties from, 1988–1990, intercepting unidentified aircraft and assisting the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration in anti-smuggling efforts, it became host unit at Tyndall Air Force Base in September 1991. The 325th has conducted the Air Force's basic course and transition training for the F-22 since 2003. In October 2012, the wing was reassigned from Air Education and Training Command to Air Combat Command, since it had added a combat coded squadron to its training units.
This unit, the 95th Fighter Squadron, other elements of the wing completed their first six month long combat deployment with the Raptor in May 2015. Established as the 325th Fighter Wing, All Weather on 10 May 1948Activated on 9 June 1948 Redesignated 325th Fighter-All Weather Wing on 20 January 1950 Redesignated 325th Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 1 May 1951 Inactivated on 6 February 1952Redesignated 325th Fighter Wing on 14 September 1956Activated on 18 October 1956 Discontinued and inactivated on 1 Ju
4th Fighter Wing
The 4th Fighter Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command Ninth Air Force. It is stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, where it is the host unit; the wing is one of two Air Force units. The wing's 4th Operations Group had its origins as the Royal Air Force Eagle Squadrons; when the United States entered World War II, these units, the American pilots in them, were transferred to the United States Army Air Forces VIII Fighter Command, forming the 4th Fighter Group on 12 September 1942. The 4th Fighter Group was the first fighter group to use belly tanks, the first to penetrate Germany, the first to accompany bombers to Berlin, the first to accomplish the England-to-Russia shuttle and the first to down jet fighters; the group was credited with the destruction of 1,016 enemy aircraft, more than any other American fighter unit, produced 38 aces. The current commander of the 4th Fighter Wing is Colonel Donn Yates The wing consists of four active duty groups—4th Maintenance Group, 4th Mission Support Group, 4th Operations Group and 4th Medical Group—and is assigned over 6,400 military members, about 600 civilians and 95 F-15E Strike Eagles.
An additional organization, the 414th Fighter Group of the Air Force Reserve Command, is an Air Force Reserve "associate" unit to the 4th Fighter Wing, with its flight crews and maintenance crews flying and supporting the same F-15E aircraft as their active duty counterparts. 4th Operations Group. The 4th Operations Group is the largest organization in the 4th Fighter Wing; the group consists of the 335th and 336th. The group provides worldwide command and control for two operational F-15E squadrons and is responsible for conducting the Air Force's only F-15E training operation, qualifying crews to serve in worldwide combat-ready positions. 4th Maintenance GroupThe 4th Maintenance Group consists of four squadrons and more than 2,300 military and civilian personnel. The group is responsible for the maintenance support used to maintain and deploy 96 F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft for worldwide expeditionary aerospace operations; the group oversees all on- and off-aircraft equipment maintenance, while providing standardized weapons loading and academics training to support the execution of the wing’s flying hour program consisting of more than 16,000 sorties and 25,000 hours 4th Mission Support GroupThe 4th Mission Support Group is responsible for the leadership and management of civil engineering, communications-computer systems support and law enforcement, information management, food services and recreation for a community of more than 13,000 people.
The group is responsible for maintaining the capability to deploy readiness teams worldwide to build and operate bases to support combat forces 4th Medical GroupThe healthcare professionals of the 4th Medical Group are dedicated to providing the best health care possible to the 4th Fighter Wing and its associate units. The group's total quality health care includes a responsive appointment system, a prompt and accurate pharmacy service, health prevention, health education and promotion programs that reach out to the Seymour Johnson community. 414th Fighter Group. The group consists of 340 personnel comprising both part-time Traditional Reservists and full-time Air Reserve Technicians and Active Guard and Reserve. Collectively, they make up an operational fighter squadron, the 307th Fighter Squadron and the 414th Maintenance Squadron; the 307 FS reports operationally to the 4th Operations Group and the 414 MXS to the 4th Maintenance Group. As the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing it flew the North American F-86 Sabre during the Korean War and was the top MiG-killing organization during the conflict.
The 4 Wing moved to Japan following the Korean armistice in 1953 and remained there until 8 December 1957. The 4th transitioned to the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II in early 1967; the readiness posture of the wing was given a true test in early 1968 when the North Koreans seized the USS Pueblo, an American intelligence-gathering ship, just off the coast of North Korea. Elements of the 4th moved to Korea within 72 hours; the 4th Fighter Wing continued to sustain a visible mobility posture with the development of the first operationally ready bare-base squadron in 1970, followed by multiple deployments to Southeast Asia beginning in April 1972. Operating from Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as the first F-4 wing to augment elements of Pacific Air Forces, aircrews of the Fourth flew more than 8,000 combat missions, many into the heart of North Vietnam; the wing ended deployments to Thailand in the summer of 1974. The Summer of'72: The 335th TFS was deployed to Ubon Royal Thai AFB to augment the 8th TFW in the continuation of Operation Bolo.
At first, we were tapped to drop chaff for the BUFF. To a gaggle of 50+ Thuds and Phantoms who went North on a daily basis to "Downtown". My first flight north I was the backseater of Major Charles Hollingsworth, A- Flight Commander and a "Fighter Pilots" fighter pilot; this was the only time. We rolled in and dropped our Mk 84's went "hunting" to Yen-Bai Airfield, for MIGS. I remember we found the base eerily quiet, it was like flying over LAX mid-day. Chuck asked me to fly back to
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.