The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial 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 military on 18 September 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. It is the most recent branch of the U.S. military to be formed, and is the largest and one of the world’s most technologically advanced air forces. The USAF articulates its core functions as Nuclear Deterrence Operations, Special Operations, Air Superiority, Global Integrated ISR, Space Superiority, Command and Control, Cyberspace Superiority, Personnel Recovery, Global Precision Attack, Building Partnerships, Rapid Global Mobility and Agile Combat Support.
The Air Force is a military service 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 is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. 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 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.
As of 2012 the U.S. Air Force has 332,854 active personnel, 185,522 civilian personnel, 71,400 reserve personnel, 106,700 air guard personnel and a $140 billion budget. It operates 5,484 aircraft, 450 ICBMs and 63 satellites, making it the largest air force in the world.
The United States Air Force provides air support to ground troops and aids in the recovery of troops in the field.
The Russian Air Force (Russian: Военно-воздушные cилы России, tr. Voyenno-vozdushnye sily Rossii) is the aerial warfare service branch of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. It is currently under the command of Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev. The Russian Navy has its own air arm, the Russian Naval Aviation, which is the former Soviet Aviatsiya Voyenno Morskogo Flota (“Naval Aviation”), or AV-MF).
The Air Force was formed from parts of the former Soviet Air Forces after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991–92. Boris Yeltsin’s creation of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation on 7 May 1992, can be taken as a convenient formation date for the new Air Force. Since that time, the Air Force has suffered severe setbacks due to lack of resources, and has constantly shrunk in size. Since Vladimir Putin became President of the Russian Federation however, much more money has been allocated to the Armed Forces as a whole.
Categories: US Air Force