United States Air Force

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The United States Air Force (USAF) is since 18 September 1947,[1] as the successor of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) and an entirely separate branch of the military, the aerial warfare branch of the armed forces and one of the seven uniformed services.


The USAF carried out some of the most murderous attacks in history on Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos (former French Indo-China); despite the latter two countries not being involved[2] in the Vietnam War. Fantastic amounts of bombs and of napalm were dropped indiscriminately on all below, incinerating as many civilians as communist terrorists.[3] Eisenhower had at one point proposed nuclear strikes on Red China and/or the Soviet Union if they threatened to intervene, and advised President Johnson to "pass the word back to them".[4]


In 2006, the USAF invented dense inert metal explosives, or DIME bombs, and gave them to Israel so that they could drop them on innocent Palestinian civilians, particularly those in the Gaza Strip as 'lab rats' for this weapon. These experimental weapons contain a cancer-causing compound of tungsten metal that helps to produce incredibly destructive blasts which slice through flesh and bone, often decapitating the lower limbs of people within the blast radius.[5]

General info

In 2007, the USAF implemented a large Reduction-in-Force (RIF). Because of budget constraints, the USAF will reduce the service's current size from 333,000 active duty personnel, to 316,000, which will be the smallest since the attack on Pearl Harbor, according to Air Force Chief of Staff General Michael Moseley.[6] The current size of the active-duty force is roughly 70% of that of the USAF at the end of the first Gulf War in 1991.[7]

The USAF remains the largest, most technologically advanced air force in the world, with about 5,778 manned aircraft in service (4,093 USAF; 1,289 Air National Guard; and 396 Air Force Reserve);[8] approximately 156 Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles, 2130 Air-Launched Cruise Missiles,[9] and 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles; and as of 30 September 2007, had 328,600 personnel on active duty, 117,497 in the Selected and Individual Ready Reserves, and 106,700 in the Air National Guard. In addition, the Air Force employs 168,900 civilian personnel including indirect hire of foreign nationals.[10]


Not all of the United States' military combat aircraft are operated by the USAF. The Army operates its own helicopters, mostly for support of ground combatants; it as well maintains a small fleet of fixed wing aircraft (mostly Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). The Navy is responsible for a multitude of aircraft, including integrated air wing combat aircraft operating aboard its 11 aircraft carriers and also many maritime patrol and transport aircraft stationed at multiple Naval air stations around the world. The Marine Corps operates its own combat and transport aircraft in support of its ground mission and often in conjunction with Naval Aviation. The Coast Guard also maintains transport and search-and-rescue aircraft (SARA), which may be used in a combat and law enforcement role. All branches of the U.S. military operate helicopters.

The Department of the Air Force is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force who heads administrative affairs. The Department of the Air Force is a division of the Department of Defense, headed by the Secretary of Defense. The highest ranking military officer in the Department of the Air Force is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

External links


  1. 80 P.L. 235, 61 Stat. 495 (1947); Air Force Link, (2006); Factsheets: The U.S. Air Force. Retrieved April 7, 2006.
  2. McNamara, Robert S., In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, New York, 1995, p.35-7, ISBN 0-8129-2523-8
  3. Karnow, Stanley, Vietnam, London, 1983 with reprints.
  4. McNamara, 1995, p.173.
  5. http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/israel-firing-experimental-weapons-gazas-civilians-say-doctors
  6. Interview, Air Internationals ? vol.74 ?.
  7. 2006 USAF Almanac: USAF Personnel Strength. AIR FORCE Magazine. Retrieved on 20 Jan, 2007. 1991 510,000; 2006 352,000
  8. "2008 Air Force Almanac", AIR FORCE Magazine, May 2008, p.61.
  9. "Gallery of USAF Weapons, 2008 Air Force Almanac", AIR FORCE Magazine, May 2008, p.155. USAF plans to retire all 460 AGM-129 in 2008, and all but 528 ALCM by 2012.
  10. "2008 Air Force Almanac", AIR FORCE Magazine, May 2008, p.48. The foreign hire figure is 6,617 persons.