The United States Air Force Portal
The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare branch of the armed forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. Initially part of the United States Army as the Army Air Corps, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947. It was the last branch of the US military to be formed.
The USAF is one of the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world, with about 5,573 manned aircraft in service (3,990 USAF; 1,213 Air National Guard; and 370 Air Force Reserve); approximately 180 Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles, 2130 Air-Launched Cruise Missiles, and 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles; and has 330,159 personnel on active duty, 68,872 in the Selected and Individual Ready Reserves, and 94,753 in the Air National Guard. In addition, the Air Force employs 151,360 civilian personnel.
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.
Photo credit: Master Sergeant Andy Dunaway, 23 April 2008. DoD photo.
photo source: DefenseImagery.mil
Service considering retrofitting late-model C-130's with new engines
Summary: The U.S. Air Force is interested in procuring commercial off-the-shelf engines to replace antiquated propulsion systems on C-130 aircraft. At a technology summit in Arlington, Virginia, General Philip Breedlove told of the service's efforts to follow up on the successes of the C-130J upgrade with commercially available fuel efficient engines. Breedlove says the prioritization of use of C-130J's in inter-theater operations for cost savings has tied up logistics. The C-130 also suffers from performance and maintenance issues that have led to the cancellation of the FCS Manned Ground Vehicles program that was unable to fall within weight parameters while maintaining protection requirements. While enhancing the current generation of aircraft, the Air Force is also heading an initiative to develop fuel efficient technologies for the next generation of propulsion systems. the ADaptive Versatile ENgine Technology program seeks to develop an engine that is 30% more efficient than the F119 or F135 engines that power the F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft. The Versatile, Affordable, Advanced Turbine Engines and Highly Efficient Embedded Turbine Engine programs are also being pursued to develop propulsion technologies for sub-sonic military aircraft.
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The C-130 Hercules is a multi-role transport aircraft. First introduced in 1956 the airframe has proven to be incredibly versatile. The aircraft was designed by the Lockheed corporation and initially designed to carry up to 92 passengers, have a range of 1,100 nautical miles (2,000 km), and have the capability to take off and land at short and unprepared strips. Testing for the aircraft was conducted from 1954-1956 with the first production models being delivered to the 463d Troop Carrier Wing at Ardmore AFB, Oklahoma and the 314th Troop Carrier Wing at Sewart AFB, Tennessee in December 1956.
Since that time the C-130 has performed admirably. The aircraft has been employed extensively in major combat operations and military operations other than war (such as humanitarian aid missions) since first being deployed. It continues to perform airlift, airdrop, aerial refueling, electronic warfare, close air support, and reconnaissance missions worldwide.
To date 2,262 C-130s have been produced. There are more than 50 military and civilian variants of the aircraft operated by 89 countries. The newest version, the C-130J Super Hercules, includes major upgrades to the avionics and engines, increases the speed and range of the aircraft while reducing the crew requirements.
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker (1890-1973) is the highest scoring American ace of World War I. He was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1890 and at an early age began undertaking high-risk activities. His formal schooling ended when his father died in 1902. However, Rickenbacker had an aptitude for engineering leading him into the automotive field. He became a race car driver and participated in four Indianapolis 500 races.
Rickenbacker was in England when the United States joined World War I. He enlisted in the army and fought to get into flight training. After training he was assigned to the 94th Aero Squadron. Rickenbacker claimed his first aerial victory on 29 April 1918. A month later, on 28 May he claimed his fifth, making him an ace. In all Rickenbacker achieved 26 aerial victories and was awarded a Medal of Honor, seven Distinguished Service Crosses, a French Legion of Honor, and a French Croix de Guerre.
After the war Rickenbacker briefly ran his own car company, ran the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Eastern Air Lines. During World War II he supported the war effort by touring military facilities in the United States and abroad and even traveled to the Soviet Union to help improve their aerial capabilities. Rickenbacker died in 1973 at the age of 82 in Zürich, Switzerland. He is buried at the Green Lawn Cemetery in his home town of Columbus.
"Recommitting to our own high standards is the foundation for our success in every mission area, not just our nuclear enterprise. To this end, I charge the Air Force to:
- Continue leaning forward in every respect in support of Joint operations
- Ensure that our core values of Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in All We Do underpin every action, by every Airman, at all times
- Commit to individual and organizational accountability
- Critically examine our internal processes, restore discipline, identify weaknesses, and aggressively solve problems
- Overcome any challenge that impinges on our credibility, readiness, or the trust placed in us by others - Do our mission for the Nation, and do it well "
- — Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley, June 30, 2008
Donley, Michael B. (June 30, 2008). "Letter to Airman". Senior Leaders Viewpoints. United States Air Force. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
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