Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China and Japan, east of India, west of Papua New Guinea, north of Australia. Southeast Asia is bordered to the north by East Asia, to the west by South Asia and the Bay of Bengal, to the east by Oceania and the Pacific Ocean, to the south by Australia and the Indian Ocean; the region is the only part of Asia that lies within the Southern Hemisphere, although the majority of it is in the Northern Hemisphere. In contemporary definition, Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions: Mainland Southeast Asia known as Indochina, comprising parts of Northeast India, Laos, Thailand and West Malaysia. Maritime Southeast Asia known as Nusantara, the East Indies and Malay Archipelago, comprises the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India, East Malaysia, the Philippines, East Timor, Christmas Island, the Cocos Islands. Taiwan is included in this grouping by many anthropologists; the region lies near the intersection of geological plates, with both heavy seismic and volcanic activities.
The Sunda Plate is the main plate of the region, featuring all Southeast Asian countries except Myanmar, northern Thailand, northern Laos, northern Vietnam, northern Luzon of the Philippines. The mountain ranges in Myanmar and peninsular Malaysia are part of the Alpide belt, while the islands of the Philippines are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Both seismic belts meet in Indonesia, causing the region to have high occurrences of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Southeast Asia covers about 4.5 million km2, 10.5% of Asia or 3% of earth's total land area. Its total population is about 8.5 % of the world's population. It is the third most populous geographical region in the world after East Asia; the region is culturally and ethnically diverse, with hundreds of languages spoken by different ethnic groups. Ten countries in the region are members of ASEAN, a regional organization established for economic, military and cultural integration amongst its members; the region, together with part of South Asia, was well known by Europeans as the East Indies or the Indies until the 20th century.
Chinese sources referred the region as 南洋, which means the "Southern Ocean." The mainland section of Southeast Asia was referred to as Indochina by European geographers due to its location between China and the Indian subcontinent and its having cultural influences from both neighboring regions. In the 20th century, the term became more restricted to territories of the former French Indochina; the maritime section of Southeast Asia is known as the Malay Archipelago, a term derived from the European concept of a Malay race. Another term for Maritime Southeast Asia is Insulindia, used to describe the region between Indochina and Australasia; the term "Southeast Asia" was first used in 1839 by American pastor Howard Malcolm in his book Travels in South-Eastern Asia. Malcolm only included the Mainland section and excluded the Maritime section in his definition of Southeast Asia; the term was used in the midst of World War II by the Allies, through the formation of South East Asia Command in 1943.
SEAC popularised the use of the term "Southeast Asia," although what constituted Southeast Asia was not fixed. However, by the late 1970s, a standard usage of the term "Southeast Asia" and the territories it encompasses had emerged. Although from a cultural or linguistic perspective the definitions of "Southeast Asia" may vary, the most common definitions nowadays include the area represented by the countries listed below. Ten of the eleven states of Southeast Asia are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, while East Timor is an observer state. Papua New Guinea has stated that it might join ASEAN, is an observer. Sovereignty issues exist over some territories in the South China Sea; some southern parts of Mainland China, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan, are considered as part of Southeast Asia by some authors. * Administrative centre in Putrajaya. Southeast Asia is geographically divided into two subregions, namely Mainland Southeast Asia and Maritime Southeast Asia. Mainland Southeast Asia includes: Maritime Southeast Asia includes: The Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India are geographically considered part of Maritime Southeast Asia.
Eastern Bangladesh and Northeast India have strong cultural ties with Southeast Asia and sometimes considered both South Asian and Southeast Asian. Sri Lanka has on some occasions been considered a part of Southeast Asia because of its cultural ties to mainland Southeast Asia; the rest of the island of New Guinea, not part of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, is sometimes included, so are Palau and the Northern Mariana Islands, which were all part of the Spanish East Indies with strong cultural and linguistic ties to the region the Philippines. The eastern half of Indonesia and East Timor are considered to be biogeographically part of Oceania due to its distinctive faunal features. New Guinea and its surrounding islands are geologically considered as a part of Australian continent, connected via the Sahul Shelf; the region
Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network is an American cable and satellite television network, created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a nonprofit public service. It televises many proceedings of the United States federal government, as well as other public affairs programming; the C-SPAN network includes the television channels C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, C-SPAN3, the radio station WCSP-FM, a group of websites which provide streaming media and archives of C-SPAN programs. C-SPAN's television channels are available to 100 million cable and satellite households within the United States, while WCSP-FM is broadcast on FM radio in Washington, D. C. and is available throughout the U. S. on SiriusXM via Internet streaming, globally through apps for iOS, BlackBerry, Android devices. The network televises U. S. political events live and "gavel-to-gavel" coverage of the U. S. Congress, as well as occasional proceedings of the Canadian and British Parliaments and other major events worldwide, its coverage of political and policy events is unmoderated, providing the audience with unfiltered information about politics and government.
Non-political coverage includes historical programming, programs dedicated to non-fiction books, interview programs with noteworthy individuals associated with public policy. C-SPAN is a private, non-profit organization funded by its cable and satellite affiliates, it does not have advertisements on any of its networks, radio stations, or websites, nor does it solicit donations or pledges; the network operates independently, neither the cable industry nor Congress has control of its programming content. Brian Lamb, C-SPAN's chairman and former chief executive officer, first conceived the concept of C-SPAN in 1975 while working as the Washington, D. C. bureau chief of the cable industry trade magazine Cablevision. It was a time of rapid growth in the number of cable television channels available in the United States, Lamb envisioned a cable-industry financed nonprofit network for televising sessions of the U. S. Congress and other public affairs event and policy discussions. Lamb shared his idea with several cable executives.
Among them were Bob Rosencrans, who provided $25,000 of initial funding in 1979, John D. Evans, who provided the wiring and access to the headend needed for the distribution of the C-SPAN signal. C-SPAN was launched on March 19, 1979, in time for the first televised session made available by the House of Representatives, beginning with a speech by then-Tennessee representative Al Gore. Upon its debut, only 3.5 million homes were wired for C-SPAN, the network had just three employees. The second C-SPAN channel, C-SPAN2, followed on June 2, 1986 when the U. S. Senate permitted itself to be televised. C-SPAN3, the most recent expansion channel, began full-time operations on January 22, 2001, shows other public policy and government-related live events on weekdays along with weekend historical programming. C-SPAN3 is the successor of a digital channel called C-SPAN Extra, launched in the Washington D. C. area in 1997, televised live and recorded political events from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday.
C-SPAN Radio began operations on October 9, 1997, covering similar events as the television networks and simulcasting their programming. The station broadcasts on WCSP in Washington, D. C. is available on XM Satellite Radio channel 120 and is streamed live at c-span.org. It was available on Sirius Satellite Radio from 2002 to 2006. Lamb semi-retired in March 2012, coinciding with the channel's 33rd anniversary, gave executive control of the network to his two lieutenants, Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain. On January 12, 2017, the online feed for C-SPAN1 was interrupted and replaced by a feed from the Russian television network RT America for 10 minutes. C-SPAN announced that they were troubleshooting the incident and were "operating under the assumption that it was an internal routing issue." C-SPAN celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1989 with a three-hour retrospective, featuring Lamb recalling the development of the network. The 15th anniversary was commemorated in an unconventional manner as the network facilitated a series of re-enactments of the seven historic Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, which were televised from August to October 1994, have been rebroadcast from time to time since.
Five years the series American presidents: Life Portraits, which won a Peabody Award, served as a year-long observation of C-SPAN's 20th anniversary. In 2004, C-SPAN celebrated its 25th anniversary, by which time the flagship network was viewed in 86 million homes, C-SPAN2 was in 70 million homes and C-SPAN3 was in eight million homes. On the anniversary date, C-SPAN repeated the first televised hour of floor debate in the House of Representatives from 1979 and, throughout the month, 25th anniversary features included "then and now" segments with journalists who had appeared on C-SPAN during its early years. Included in the 25th anniversary was an essay contest for viewers to write in about how C-SPAN has influenced their life regarding community service. For example, one essay contest winner wrote about how C-SPAN's non-fiction book programming serves as a resource in his charitable mission to record non-fiction audio books for people who are blind. To commemorate 25 years of taking viewer telephone calls, in 2005, C-SPAN had a 25-hour "call-in marathon", from 8:00 pm.
Eastern Time on Friday, October 7, concluding at 9:00 pm. Eastern Time on Saturday, October 8; the network had a viewer essay contest, the winner of, invited to co-host an hour of the broadcast from C-SPAN's Capitol
Alma mater is an allegorical Latin phrase for a university, school, or college that one attended. In US usage it can mean the school from which one graduated; the phrase is variously translated as "nourishing mother", "nursing mother", or "fostering mother", suggesting that a school provides intellectual nourishment to its students. Fine arts will depict educational institutions using a robed woman as a visual metaphor. Before its current usage, alma mater was an honorific title for various Latin mother goddesses Ceres or Cybele, in Catholicism for the Virgin Mary, it entered academic usage when the University of Bologna adopted the motto Alma Mater Studiorum, which describes its heritage as the oldest operating university in the Western world. It is related to alumnus, a term used for a university graduate that means a "nursling" or "one, nourished". Although alma was a common epithet for Ceres, Cybele and other mother goddesses, it was not used in conjunction with mater in classical Latin. In the Oxford Latin Dictionary, the phrase is attributed to Lucretius' De rerum natura, where it is used as an epithet to describe an earth goddess: After the fall of Rome, the term came into Christian liturgical usage in association with the Virgin Mary.
"Alma Redemptoris Mater" is a well-known 11th century antiphon devoted to Mary. The earliest documented use of the term to refer to a university in an English-speaking country is in 1600, when the University of Cambridge printer, John Legate, began using an emblem for the university's press; the device's first-known appearance is on the title-page of William Perkins' A Golden Chain, where the Latin phrase Alma Mater Cantabrigia is inscribed on a pedestal bearing a nude, lactating woman wearing a mural crown. In English etymological reference works, the first university-related usage is cited in 1710, when an academic mother figure is mentioned in a remembrance of Henry More by Richard Ward. Many historic European universities have adopted Alma Mater as part of the Latin translation of their official name; the University of Bologna Latin name, Alma Mater Studiorum, refers to its status as the oldest continuously operating university in the world. Other European universities, such as the Alma Mater Lipsiensis in Leipzig, Germany, or Alma Mater Jagiellonica, have used the expression in conjunction with geographical or foundational characteristics.
At least one, the Alma Mater Europaea in Salzburg, Austria, an international university founded by the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2010, uses the term as its official name. In the United States, the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, has been called the "Alma Mater of the Nation" because of its ties to the country's founding. At Queen's University in Kingston and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, the main student government is known as the Alma Mater Society; the ancient Roman world had many statues of the Alma Mater, some still extant. Modern sculptures are found in prominent locations on several American university campuses. For example, in the United States: there is a well-known bronze statue of Alma Mater by Daniel Chester French situated on the steps of Columbia University's Low Library. An altarpiece mural in Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library, painted in 1932 by Eugene Savage, depicts the Alma Mater as a bearer of light and truth, standing in the midst of the personified arts and sciences.
Outside the United States, there is an Alma Mater sculpture on the steps of the monumental entrance to the Universidad de La Habana, in Havana, Cuba. The statue was cast in 1919 by Mario Korbel, with Feliciana Villalón Wilson as the inspiration for Alma Mater, it was installed in its current location in 1927, at the direction of architect Raul Otero. Media related to Alma mater at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of alma mater at Wiktionary Alma Mater Europaea website
United States Army War College
The United States Army War College is a U. S. Army educational institution in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on the 500-acre campus of the historic Carlisle Barracks, it provides graduate-level instruction to senior military officers and civilians to prepare them for senior leadership assignments and responsibilities. Each year, a number of Army colonels and lieutenant colonels are considered by a board for admission. 800 students attend at any one time, half in a two-year-long distance learning program, the other half in an on-campus, full-time resident program lasting ten months. Upon completion, the college grants its graduates a master's degree in Strategic Studies. Army applicants must have completed the U. S. Army Command and General Staff College, the required Professional Military Education for officers in the rank of major. While the Army handpicks most of the students who participate in the residential program, the student body always includes officers from the other military branches, civilians from agencies such as the Department of Defense, State Department, National Security Agency, officers from foreign countries who attend the program as International Fellows.
For example, the residential Class of 2017 had 381 students: 218 active component officers and 61 reserve component officers from all five branches of the United States Armed Forces, 28 senior federal government civilians, 74 International Fellows. Majors with the specialty of Function Area 59, Strategist Strategic Plans and Policy attend their qualification course, the Basic Strategic Arts Program, at the college; the Army War College is a split-functional institution. While a great deal of emphasis is placed on research, students are instructed in leadership and joint-service/international operations, it is one of the senior service colleges including the Air War College. Additionally, the U. S. Department of Defense operates the National War College. According to U. S. Army regulation 10–44, the mission of the War College is "To prepare selected military and international leaders for the responsibilities of strategic leadership. Established from the principles learned in the Spanish–American War, the College was founded by Secretary of War Elihu Root and U.
S. President Theodore Roosevelt, formally established by General Order 155 on 27 November 1901. Washington Barracks—now called Fort Lesley J. McNair—in Washington, D. C. was chosen as the site. Roosevelt attended the Masonic laying of the cornerstone of Roosevelt Hall on 21 February, 1903; the first president of the Army War College was Major General Samuel B. M. Young in July 1902 and the first students attended the College in 1904. During the presidency of Montgomery M. Macomb in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson accused students and staff of planning for taking part in an offensive war though the United States had not entered World War I. Wilson was unconvinced by Macomb's explanation that the college was concerned only with the intellectual growth and professional development of its students, insisted that the school curtail its activities in order to ensure that the U. S. maintained its neutrality. The College remained at Washington Barracks until the 1940s, when it was closed due to World War II.
It reopened in 1950 at Fort Leavenworth, moved one year to its present location. The Center for Strategic Leadership's areas of emphasis are experiential education, Senior Leader education, support to Army Senior Leader research, support to both US Army War College and Army Senior Leader strategic communication efforts. CSL's professional staff and Collins Hall facility host, support and conduct world-class events focused on a broad range of strategic leadership and national security issues and concepts in support of the USAWC, the Army, the Interagency and Joint Communities; the Basic Strategic Art Program is one of the academic programs taught at the U. S. Army War College; when the program was founded in 2003, its purpose was to provide those officers, newly designated into Functional Area 59 an introduction to strategy and to the unique skills and attributes needed as a foundation for their progressive development as army strategists. FA 59 officers have deployed to combat since the onset of the Global War on Terror in 2001.
Since graduates of this program served in key positions in Iraq, all combatant commands, at the Pentagon. The Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute is located at the War College; the institute's mission is to serve as the U. S. Military’s Center of Excellence for Stability and Peace Operations at the strategic and operational levels in order to improve military, civilian agency and multinational capabilities and execution. U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center Strategic Studies Institute Basic Strategic Arts Program Staff College United States Military Academy MSC Student Conference on National Affairs United States Army Command and General Staff College National War College Industrial College of the Armed Forces Naval War College Marine Corps War College Air War College Strategic Studies Institute The Institute of World Politics U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College – the College's strategic and security research facility Peacekeeping
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
314th Airlift Wing
The 314th Airlift Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force based at Little Rock Air Force Base in Little Rock, Arkansas. Provide C-130 combat airlift training. 314th Operations Group48th Airlift Squadron 62d Airlift Squadron 714th Training Squadron 314th Maintenance Group314th Maintenance Squadron 314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron 314th Maintenance Operations Squadron314th Mission Support Group314th Contracting Squadron 314th Security Forces Squadron 314th Services Squadron 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron 314th Mission Support Squadron 314th Communications Squadron 314th Civil Engineer Squadron314th Medical Group314th Medical Operations Squadron 314th Medical Support Squadron See the 314th Operations Group for related history and lineage The wing was activated in November 1948 as the 314th Troop Carrier Wing at Smyrna Air Force Base, Tennessee. The wing served in Japan during the Korean War, participating in two major airborne operations, at Sunchon in October 1950 and at Munsan-ni in March 1951.
It transported supplies to Korea and evacuated prisoners of war. During the post Korean War and the continuation of the Cold War period in 1954, it again transferred, without personnel or equipment back to the U. S. where it served as a primary troop carrier unit in the eastern U. S. participating in joint airborne training with Army forces, developing assault airlift operations, performing in aerial demonstrations, exercises and joint operations. Between January 1966 and May 1971, it operated from Ching Chuan Kang Air Base Taiwan as part of the 315th Air Division to provide passenger and cargo airlift throughout the Far East and combat airlift in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War period. Again returning to the U. S. in May 1971, the 314th acquired the assets of the inactivated 64th Tactical Airlift Wing and incurred host organization responsibilities of Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. It has since operated C-130 training schools, providing classroom instruction and flying training to all branches of the U.
S. military and allied nations and served as a tactical airlift wing involved in worldwide airborne training and special operations including deployments in support of the Commander-in-Chief, United States Air Forces in Europe. It provided joint airborne communications center and command post support for the United States Readiness Command. In October 1983, the wing provided Joint Airborne Communications Center/Command Post equipment in support of the rescue of U. S. nationals in Grenada. During December 1989 and January 1990, it provided airlift support during the intervention in Operation Just Cause in Panama; the 314th conducted airlift control support in addition to airlift of troops and equipment to the Middle East in support of the liberation of Kuwait, August 1990 – March 1991. From 1991 to present, in addition to its primary mission of aircrew training, the wing conducted numerous disaster relief and humanitarian support missions including airdrop of U. S. Army Troops. Korean War Operation Urgent Fury Operation Just Cause Operation Desert Shield Operation Desert Storm Established as the 314th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium on 4 October 1948Activated on 1 November 1948Redesignated 314th Troop Carrier Wing on 1 January 1967 Redesignated 314th Tactical Airlift Wing on 1 August 1967 Redesignated 314th Airlift Wing on 1 December 1991 Groups34th Tactical Airlift Training Group: 15 September 1978 – 1 December 1991 309th Troop Carrier Group: 313th Troop Carrier Group 314th Air Base Group: 1 November 1948 – 8 October 1957, 1 October 1964 - 1 December 1965, 1 May 1971 – present 314th Maintenance and Supply Group: 1 November 1948 – 8 October 1957, 1 December 1991 – present 314th Medical Group 314th Station Medical Group: 1 November 1948 – 8 October 1957, 1 May 1971 - 1 March 1975 314th Troop Carrier Group 316th Troop Carrier Group: 4 November 1949 – 14 November 1954 513th Troop Carrier Group: 516th Troop Carrier Group: HospitalUSAF Hospital, Little Rock.
Ravenstein, Charles A.. Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. Little Rock AFB Home Page
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.