United States Air Force

United States Air Force
USAF logo.png
Symbol of the United States Air Force
Founded 18 September 1947
(70 years, 3 months)
[1]
1 August 1907 (first antecedent)
(110 years, 5 months)
Country United States United States of America
Type Air and space force [2]
Role air, space, and cyberspace warfare
Size 318,415 active personnel [3]
140,169 full-time employees [3]
69,200 reserve personnel [4]
105,700 air guard personnel [5]
5,500 aircraft [6]
406 ICBMs [7]
170 satellites [8]
Part of

United States Department of Defense Seal.svg Department of Defense

Headquarters The Pentagon
Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.
Motto(s) "Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win" [9]
"Integrity first, Service before self, Excellence in all we do" [10]
Colors

Ultramarine blue, Golden yellow [11]

         
March The U.S. Air Force About this sound  Play 
Engagements
Website www.af.mil
www.airforce.com
Commanders
Commander-in-Chief President Donald Trump
Secretary of Defense James Mattis
Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson
Chief of Staff Gen David L. Goldfein
Vice Chief of Staff Gen Stephen W. Wilson
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright
Insignia
Flag Flag of the United States Air Force.svg
Seal of the Department of the Air Force Seal of the US Air Force.svg
Roundel Roundel of the USAF.svg
USAF "Hap" Arnold Symbol US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg
Aircraft flown
Attack A-10, AC-130, MQ-1, MQ-9
Bomber B-1B, B-2, B-52H
Electronic
warfare
E-3, E-8, EC-130
Fighter F-15C, F-15E, F-16, F-22, F-35A
Helicopter HH-60, UH-1N
Reconnaissance MC-12, RC-135, RQ-4, RQ-170, U-2, U-28
Trainer T-1, T-6, T-38, T-41, T-51, T-53, TG-16
Transport C-5, C-12, C-17, C-21, C-32, C-37, C-130, C-40, CV-22, VC-25
Tanker KC-10, KC-135

The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. [13] It is the most recent branch of the U.S. Armed Forces to be formed. The USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. [14] [15] [16] The service articulates its core functions as nuclear deterrence operations, air supremacy, space superiority, cyberspace superiority, command and control, global integrated ISR, global precision attack, special operations, rapid global mobility, personnel recovery, agile combat support, and building partnerships. [17] [18] [19]

The U.S. Air Force is a military service organized within the Department of the Air Force, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense. The Air Force is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force, who reports to the Secretary of Defense, and is appointed by the President with Senate confirmation. The highest-ranking military officer in the Department of the Air Force is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, who exercises supervision over Air Force units, and serves as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Air Force combat and mobility forces are assigned, as directed by the Secretary of Defense, to the Combatant Commanders, and neither the Secretary of the Air Force nor the Chief of Staff have operational command authority over them.

The U.S. Air Force provides air support for land and naval forces [20] [2] 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 personnel, 140,169 civilian employees, 69,200 Air Force Reserve personnel, and 105,700 Air National Guard personnel. [3] [4] [21] [22] [23]

Mission, vision, and functions

Missions

According to the National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 502), 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, trained, and equipped primarily 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: [24]

  • to preserve the peace and security, and provide for the defense, of the United States, the Territories, Commonwealths, and possessions, and any areas occupied by the United States;
  • to support national policy;
  • to implement national objectives;
  • to overcome any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United States.

The stated mission of the USAF today is to "fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace". [25]

Vision

"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, space, 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, Reach and Power for the nation". [25]

Core functions

Recently, the Air Force refined its understanding of the core duties and responsibilities it performs as a Military Service Branch, streamlining what previously were six distinctive capabilities and seventeen operational functions into twelve core functions to be used across the doctrine, organization, training, equipment, leadership, and education, personnel, and facilities spectrum. These core functions express the ways in which the Air Force is particularly and appropriately suited to contribute to national security, but they do not necessarily express every aspect of what the Air Force contributes to the nation. It should be emphasized that the core functions, by themselves, are not doctrinal constructs. [26]

Nuclear Deterrence Operations

The purpose of Nuclear Deterrence Operations (NDO) is to operate, maintain, and secure nuclear forces to achieve an assured capability to deter an adversary from taking action against vital US interests. In the event deterrence fails, the US should be able to appropriately respond with nuclear options. The sub-elements of this function are: [26]

Test launch of a LGM-30 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg AFB

Assure/Dissuade/Deter is a mission set derived from the Air Force's readiness to carry out the nuclear strike operations mission as well as from specific actions taken to assure allies as a part of extended deterrence. Dissuading others from acquiring or proliferating WMD, and the means to deliver them, contributes to promoting security and is also an integral part of this mission. Moreover, different deterrence strategies are required to deter various adversaries, whether they are a nation state, or non-state/transnational actor. The Air Force maintains and presents credible deterrent capabilities through successful visible demonstrations and exercises which assure allies, dissuade proliferation, deter potential adversaries from actions that threaten US national security or the populations and deployed military forces of the US, its allies and friends. [26]

Nuclear strike is the ability of nuclear forces to rapidly and accurately strike targets which the enemy holds dear in a devastating manner. If a crisis occurs, rapid generation and, if necessary, deployment of nuclear strike capabilities will demonstrate US resolve and may prompt an adversary to alter the course of action deemed threatening to our national interest. Should deterrence fail, the President may authorize a precise, tailored response to terminate the conflict at the lowest possible level and lead to a rapid cessation of hostilities. Post-conflict, regeneration of a credible nuclear deterrent capability will deter further aggression. The Air Force may present a credible force posture in either the Continental United States, within a theater of operations, or both to effectively deter the range of potential adversaries envisioned in the 21st century. This requires the ability to engage targets globally using a variety of methods; therefore, the Air Force should possess the ability to induct, train, assign, educate and exercise individuals and units to rapidly and effectively execute missions that support US NDO objectives. Finally, the Air Force regularly exercises and evaluates all aspects of nuclear operations to ensure high levels of performance. [26]

Nuclear surety ensures the safety, security and effectiveness of nuclear operations. Because of their political and military importance, destructive power, and the potential consequences of an accident or unauthorized act, nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon systems require special consideration and protection against risks and threats inherent in their peacetime and wartime environments. The Air Force, in conjunction with other entities within the Departments of Defense or Energy, achieves a high standard of protection through a stringent nuclear surety program. This program applies to materiel, personnel, and procedures that contribute to the safety, security, and control of nuclear weapons, thus assuring no nuclear accidents, incidents, loss, or unauthorized or accidental use (a Broken Arrow incident). The Air Force continues to pursue safe, secure and effective nuclear weapons consistent with operational requirements. Adversaries, allies, and the American people must be highly confident of the Air Force's ability to secure nuclear weapons from accidents, theft, loss, and accidental or unauthorized use. This day-to-day commitment to precise and reliable nuclear operations is the cornerstone of the credibility of the NDO mission. Positive nuclear command, control, communications; effective nuclear weapons security; and robust combat support are essential to the overall NDO function. [26]

Air Superiority

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, air, and special operations forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force" (JP 1-02). [26]

Offensive Counterair (OCA) is defined as "offensive operations to destroy, disrupt, or neutralize enemy aircraft, missiles, launch platforms, and their supporting structures and systems both before and after launch, but as close to their source as possible" (JP 1-02). OCA is the preferred method of countering air and missile threats, since it attempts to defeat the enemy closer to its source and typically enjoys the initiative. OCA comprises attack operations, sweep, escort, and suppression/destruction of enemy air defense. [26]

Defensive Counter air (DCA) is defined as "all the defensive measures designed to detect, identify, intercept, and destroy or negate enemy forces attempting to penetrate or attack through friendly airspace" (JP 1-02). 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 active and passive defense measures. Active defense is "the employment of limited offensive action and counterattacks to deny a contested area or position to the enemy" (JP 1-02). It includes both ballistic missile defense and air breathing threat defense, and encompasses point defense, area defense, and 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" (JP 1-02). It includes detection and warning; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense; camouflage, concealment, and deception; hardening; reconstitution; dispersion; redundancy; and mobility, counter-measures, and stealth. [26]

Airspace control is "a process used to increase operational effectiveness by promoting the safe, efficient, and flexible use of airspace" (JP 1-02). It promotes the safe, efficient, and flexible use of airspace, mitigates the risk of fratricide, enhances both offensive and defensive operations, and permits greater agility of air operations as a whole. It both deconflicts and facilitates integration of joint air operations. [26]

Space Superiority

Launch of an Air Force Delta IV heavy rocket carrying a DSP-23 early warning satellite

Space superiority is "the degree of dominance in space of one force over another that permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea, air, space, and special operations forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force" (JP 1-02). Space superiority may be localized in time and space, or it may be broad and enduring. Space superiority provides freedom of action in space for friendly forces and, when directed, denies the same freedom to the adversary. [26]

Space Force Enhancement is defined as the "combat support operations and force-multiplying capabilities delivered from space systems to improve the effectiveness of military forces as well as support other intelligence, civil, and commercial users. This mission area includes: intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; integrated tactical warning and attack assessment; command, control, and communications; positioning, navigation, and timing; and environmental monitoring" (JP 1-02). [26]

Space Force Application is defined as "combat operations in, through, and from space to influence the course and outcome of conflict. This mission area includes ballistic missile defense and force projection" (JP 1-02). [26]

Space Control is defined as "operations to ensure freedom of action in space for the US and its allies and, when directed, deny an adversary freedom of action in space. This mission area includes: operations conducted to protect friendly space capabilities from attack, interference, or unintentional hazards (defensive space control); operations to deny an adversary's use of space capabilities (offensive space control); and the requisite current and predictive knowledge of the space environment and the operational environment upon which space operations depend (space situational awareness)" (JP 1-02). [26]

Space Support is defined as "operations to deploy and sustain military and intelligence systems in space. This mission area includes: launching and deploying space vehicles; maintaining and sustaining spacecraft on-orbit, rendezvous and proximity operations; disposing of (including de-orbiting and recovering) space capabilities; and reconstitution of space forces, if required" (JP 1-02). [26]

The U.S. Air Force currently handles 90% of all military space operations through Air Force Space Command and has been designated the primary service for space. 70% of all satellites currently in orbit belong to and are operated by the Air Force. [27] [28] [29]

Cyberspace Superiority

Cyberspace Superiority is "the operational advantage in, through, and from cyberspace to conduct operations at a given time and in a given domain without prohibitive interference" (Annex 3–12, Cyberspace Operations). [26]

Cyberspace operators at Eglin AFB

Cyberspace Force Application is combat operations in, through, and from cyberspace to achieve military objectives and influence the course and outcome of conflict by taking decisive actions against approved targets. It will incorporate computer network attack (CNA), computer network exploitation (CNE), and may involve aspects of influence operations. It is highly dependent on ISR, fused all-source intelligence, sophisticated attribution activities, situational awareness, and responsive C2. [26]

This is the passive, active, and dynamic employment of capabilities to respond to imminent or on-going actions against Air Force or Air Force-protected networks, the Air Force's portion of the Global Information Grid, or expeditionary communications assigned to the Air Force. Cyberspace defense incorporates CNE, computer network defense (CND), and CNA techniques and may be a contributor to influence operations. It is highly dependent upon ISR, fused all-source intelligence, automated indications and warning, sophisticated attribution/characterization, situational awareness, assessment, and responsive C2. [26]

Cyberspace Support is foundational, continuous, or responsive operations ensuring information integrity and availability in, through, and from Air Force-controlled infrastructure and its interconnected analog and digital portion of the battle space. Inherent in this mission is the ability to establish, extend, secure, protect, and defend in order to sustain assigned networks and missions. This includes protection measures against supply chain components plus critical C2 networks/communications links and nuclear C2 networks. The cyberspace support mission incorporates CNE and CND techniques. It incorporates all elements of Air Force Network Operations, information transport, enterprise management, and information assurance, and is dependent on ISR and all-source intelligence. [26]

Command and Control

Command and control is "the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. Command and control functions are performed through an arrangement of personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures employed by a commander in planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling forces and operations in the accomplishment of the mission" (JP 1-02). This core function includes all of the C2-related capabilities and activities associated with air, space, cyberspace, nuclear, and agile combat support operations to achieve strategic, operational, and tactical objectives. [26]

Combined Air and Space Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base

At the Strategic Level Command and Control, the US determines national or multinational security objectives and guidance, and develops and uses national resources to accomplish these objectives. These national objectives in turn provide the direction for developing overall military objectives, which are used to develop the objectives and strategy for each theater. [26]

At the Operational Level Command and Control, campaigns and major operations are planned, conducted, sustained, and assessed to accomplish strategic goals within theaters or areas of operations. These activities imply a broader dimension of time or space than do tactics; they provide the means by which tactical successes are exploited to achieve strategic and operational objectives. [26]

Tactical Level Command and Control is where individual battles and engagements are fought. The tactical level of war deals with how forces are employed, and the specifics of how engagements are conducted and targets attacked. The goal of tactical level C2 is to achieve commander's intent and desired effects by gaining and keeping offensive initiative. [26]

Global Integrated ISR

Global Integrated Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) is the synchronization and integration of the planning and operation of sensors, assets, and processing, exploitation, dissemination systems across the globe to conduct current and future operations. [26]

An Air Force RQ-4 strategic reconnaissance aircraft

Planning and Directing is "the determination of intelligence requirements, development of appropriate intelligence architecture, preparation of a collection plan, and issuance of orders and requests to information collection agencies" (JP 2-01, Joint and National Intelligence Support to Military Operations). These activities enable the synchronization and integration of collection, processing, exploitation, analysis, and dissemination activities/resources to meet information requirements of national and military decision makers. [26]

Collection is "the acquisition of information and the provision of this information to processing elements" (JP 2-01). It provides the ability to obtain required information to satisfy intelligence needs (via use of sources and methods in all domains). Collection activities span the Range of Military Operations (ROMO). [26]

Processing and exploitation is "the conversion of collected information into forms suitable to the production of intelligence" (JP 2-01). It provides the ability, across the ROMO, to transform, extract, and make available collected information suitable for further analysis or action. [26]

Analysis and production is "the conversion of processed information into intelligence through the integration, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of all source data and the preparation of intelligence products in support of known or anticipated user requirements" (JP 2-01). It provides the ability to integrate, evaluate, and interpret information from available sources to create a finished intelligence product for presentation or dissemination to enable increased situational awareness. [26]

Dissemination and Integration is "the delivery of intelligence to users in a suitable form and the application of the intelligence to appropriate missions, tasks, and functions" (JP 2-01). It provides the ability to present information and intelligence products across the ROMO enabling understanding of the operational environment to military and national decision makers. [26]

Global Precision Attack

Global Precision Attack is the ability to hold at risk or strike rapidly and persistently, with a wide range of munitions, any target and to create swift, decisive, and precise effects across multiple domains. [26]

An Air Force A-10 demonstrating close air support at Nellis AFB

Strategic Attack is defined as "offensive action specifically selected to achieve national strategic objectives. These attacks seek to weaken the adversary's ability or will to engage in conflict, and may achieve strategic objectives without necessarily having to achieve operational objectives as a precondition" (Annex 3–70, Strategic Attack). [26]

Air Interdiction is defined as "air operations conducted to divert, disrupt, delay, or destroy the enemy's military potential before it can be brought to bear effectively against friendly forces, or to otherwise achieve JFC objectives. Air Interdiction is conducted at such distance from friendly forces that detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of friendly forces is not required" (Annex 3-03, Counterland Operations). [26]

Close Air Support is defined as "air action by fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft against hostile targets that are in close proximity to friendly forces and which require detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of those forces" (JP 1-02). This can be as a pre-planned event or on demand from an alert posture (ground or airborne). It can be conducted across the ROMO. [26]

Special Operations

Special Operations are "operations conducted in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments to achieve military, diplomatic, informational, and/or economic objectives employing military capabilities for which there is no broad conventional force requirement. These operations may require covert, clandestine, or low-visibility capabilities. Special operations are applicable across the ROMO. They can be conducted independently or in conjunction with operations of conventional forces or other government agencies and may include operations through, with, or by indigenous or surrogate forces. Special operations differ from conventional operations in degree of physical and political risk, operational techniques, mode of employment, independence from friendly support, and dependence on detailed operational intelligence and indigenous assets" (JP 1-02). [26]

Air Force Special Tactics Commandos training in Jordan

Agile Combat Support is the capability to effectively create, prepare, deploy, employ, sustain, and protect Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) Airmen, assets, and capabilities throughout the ROMO at a chosen initiative, speed, and tempo. [26]

Aviation Foreign Internal Defense operations directly execute US security and foreign policy as lead airpower elements that shape the battlefield and conduct stability operations to enable global reach and strike. This is accomplished by applying the mission set (assess, train, advise, and assist foreign aviation forces) across a continuum of operating venues described as indirect assistance, direct assistance (not including combat) and combat operations. [26]

Battlefield Air Operations is a unique set of combat proven capabilities (combat control, pararescue, combat weather, and tactical air control party) provided by regular and reserve component special operations forces (SOF) Battlefield Airmen who integrate, synchronize, and control manned and unmanned capabilities to achieve tactical, operational, and strategic objectives. [26]

Command and Control is the exercise of the commander's authority and direction over assigned and attached forces by trained, organized, and equipped C2 elements. Operational C2 elements consist of personnel and equipment with specialized capability to plan, direct, coordinate, and control forces in the conduct of joint/combined special operations. [26]

Special Forces fast rope from an Air Force Special Operations CV-22

Information Operations is the integrated employment of the capabilities of influence operations, electronic warfare operations, and network warfare operations, in concert with specified integrated control enablers, to influence, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp adversarial human and automated decision making while protecting one's own. [26]

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance is the synchronization and integration of platforms and sensors with the planning and direction, collection, processing and exploitation, analysis, and production and dissemination processes. These activities provide actionable intelligence, weather, environmental awareness, and prediction across all SOF command echelons. [26]

Military Information Support Operations are planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of military information support operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator's objectives. [26]

Precision Strike provides CCDRs with an integrated capability to find, fix, track, target, engage, and assess targets using a single weapons system or a combination of systems. This includes close air support, air interdiction, and armed reconnaissance missions. [26]

Specialized Air Mobility is the conduct of rapid, global infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of personnel, equipment, and materiel using specialized systems and tactics. These missions may be clandestine, low visibility, or overt and through hostile, denied, or politically sensitive airspace. [26]

Specialized Refueling is the conduct of rapid, global refueling using specialized systems and tactics. This includes aerial refueling of vertical lift aircraft and ground refueling during forward arming and refueling point operations. These missions may be clandestine, low visibility, or overt and in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments. [26]

Rapid Global Mobility

An Air Force KC-46 Pegasus refuels a C-17A Globemaster III

Rapid Global Mobility is the timely deployment, employment, sustainment, augmentation, and redeployment of military forces and capabilities across the ROMO. It provides joint military forces the capability to move from place to place while retaining the ability to fulfill their primary mission. Rapid Global Mobility is essential to virtually every military operation, allowing forces to reach foreign or domestic destinations quickly, thus seizing the initiative through speed and surprise. [26]

Airlift is "operations to transport and deliver forces and materiel through the air in support of strategic, operational, or tactical objectives" (Annex 3–17, Air Mobility Operations). The rapid and flexible options afforded by airlift allow military forces and national leaders the ability to respond and operate in a variety of situations and time frames. The global reach capability of airlift provides the ability to apply US power worldwide by delivering forces to crisis locations. It serves as a US presence that demonstrates resolve and compassion in humanitarian crisis. [26]

Air Refueling is "the refueling of an aircraft in flight by another aircraft" (JP 1-02). Air refueling extends presence, increases range, and serves as a force multiplier. It allows air assets to more rapidly reach any trouble spot around the world with less dependence on forward staging bases or overflight/landing clearances. Air refueling significantly expands the options available to a commander by increasing the range, payload, persistence, and flexibility of receiver aircraft. [26]

Aeromedical Evacuation is "the movement of patients under medical supervision to and between medical treatment facilities by air transportation" (JP 1-02). JP 4-02, Health Service Support, further defines it as "the fixed wing movement of regulated casualties to and between medical treatment facilities, using organic and/or contracted mobility airframes, with aircrew trained explicitly for this mission." Aeromedical evacuation forces can operate as far forward as fixed-wing aircraft are able to conduct airland operations. [26]

Personnel Recovery

Personnel Recovery (PR) is defined as "the sum of military, diplomatic, and civil efforts to prepare for and execute the recovery and reintegration of isolated personnel" (JP 1-02). It is the ability of the US government and its international partners to effect the recovery of isolated personnel across the ROMO and return those personnel to duty. PR also enhances the development of an effective, global capacity to protect and recover isolated personnel wherever they are placed at risk; deny an adversary's ability to exploit a nation through propaganda; and develop joint, interagency, and international capabilities that contribute to crisis response and regional stability. [26]

An Air Force Pararescueman and Combat Rescue Officer practice combat rescue skills in Afghanistan

Combat Search and Rescue is "the tactics, techniques, and procedures performed by forces to effect the recovery of isolated personnel during combat" (JP 1-02). Combat search and rescue is the primary Air Force recovery method utilized to conduct PR taskings. [26]

Civil Search and Rescue is "the use of aircraft, surface craft, submarines, and specialized rescue teams and equipment to search for and rescue distressed persons on land or at sea in a permissive environment" (JP 1-02). [26]

Disaster Response can be described as the capability to support and assist US government agencies and embassies during national and international disasters with rapidly deployable and flexible air/ground rescue forces. [26]

Humanitarian Assistance Operations are "programs conducted to relieve or reduce the results of natural or manmade disasters or other endemic conditions such as human pain, disease, hunger, or privation that might present a serious threat to life or that can result in great damage to or loss of property. Humanitarian assistance provided by US forces is limited in scope and duration. The assistance provided is designed to supplement or complement the efforts of the host nation civil authorities or agencies that may have the primary responsibility for providing humanitarian assistance" (JP 1-02). [26]

Medical evacuation refers to dedicated medical evacuation platforms staffed and equipped to provide en route medical care using predesignated tactical and logistic aircraft, boats, ships, and other watercraft temporarily equipped and staffed with medical attendants for en route care. Casualty evacuation involves the unregulated movement of casualties aboard ships, land vehicles, or aircraft (JP 4-02, Health Service Support). [26]

Agile Combat Support

Agile Combat Support (ACS) is the ability to field, protect, and sustain Air Force forces across the ROMO to achieve joint effects. [26]

Air Force Security Forces on dismounted patrol in Afghanistan

Ready the Total Force includes organizing, training, and equipping forces; establishing quality of life and maintaining core security; and fielding and planning for the use of operational and support forces to meet global mission requirements. [26]

Prepare the Battlespace includes assessing, planning, and posturing for rapid employment; prepositioning resources and conditioning specific theaters or contingency locations in a manner to meet closure timing; and establishing sustainment levels for potential operations. [26]

Position the Total Force includes preparing to deploy, deploying, receiving, and bedding down tailored and prioritized forces; establishing initial operations and support cadres in a joint operations area; distributing pre-positioned resources; establishing initial reachback connectivity; securing operating locations; and preparing for mission operations. [26]

Protecting the Total Force key focus areas include personnel, critical assets, and information. These areas are the persistent detection and understanding of threats in the operational environment and the timely dissemination of accurate decisions, warnings and taskings to protect against attacks and threats. [26]

Employ Combat Support Forces includes engaging support forces in support of mission operations; initializing, launching, recovering, and regenerating operational elements; executing support through supporting-supported relationships; and commencing reachback operations to strategic levels of support. [26]

Sustain the Total Force includes producing assured capacities and levels of support; accomplishing the long term mastery of an operational environment (peacetime and wartime) requiring persistent and effective materiel and personnel support through both local and reachback processes. [26]

Recover the Total Force includes preparing forces to remain in place, redeploy, relocate, and be reconstituted to prescribed levels of readiness; restoring operating locations and environments to planned conditions; protecting the dynamic levels of force structure; and ensuring Air Force mission elements can be effectively applied at the direction of national leadership. [26]

Building Partnerships

A United States Air Force F-22 Raptor flies with a Royal Air Force Typhoon and a French Air Force Rafale over Joint Base Langley-Eustis

Building Partnerships is described as airmen interacting with international airmen and other relevant actors to develop, guide, and sustain relationships for mutual benefit and security. Building Partnerships is about interacting with others and is therefore an inherently inter-personal and cross-cultural undertaking. Through both words and deeds, the majority of interaction is devoted to building trust-based relationships for mutual benefit. It includes both foreign partners as well as domestic partners and emphasizes collaboration with foreign governments, militaries and populations as well as US government departments, agencies, industry, and NGOs. To better facilitate partnering efforts, Airmen should be competent in the relevant language, region, and culture. [26]

Communicate refers to developing and presenting information to domestic audiences to improve understanding. It is also the ability to develop and present information to foreign adversary audiences to affect their perceptions, will, behavior and capabilities in order to further US national security and shared global security interests. [26]

Shape refers to conducting activities to affect the perceptions, will, behavior, and capabilities of partners, military forces, and relevant populations to further U.S. national security or shared global security interests. [26]

Other Languages
Esperanto: Usona Aerarmeo
한국어: 미국 공군
latviešu: ASV Gaisa spēki
Lëtzebuergesch: United States Air Force
Bahasa Melayu: Tentera Udara AS
Simple English: United States Air Force
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Američka ratna avijacija
Tiếng Việt: Không quân Hoa Kỳ
吴语: 美国空军
粵語: 美國空軍
中文: 美国空军