Today the United States Air Force turns 67 years old. Under the National Security Act of 1947 signed on September 18 aboard President Harry S. Truman’s VC-54C presidential transport (the forerunner to the Air Force One), this Act re-structured the military’s agencies after WWII, creating the Department of the Air Force. This is the most recent, largest, most technologically advanced Air Force in the world. In 1907, the War Department the first preceding Air Force. In WWII almost 68,000 US Airmen died helping win the war. Before 1947 Air Defense was shared between the Department of Army for land based operations, The Navy for sea-based operations from aircraft carriers and amphibious air craft and The Marine Corps for close air support for infantry operations.
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. National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 502)
The USAF core functions today are Nuclear Deference Operations, Special Operations, Air Superiority, Global Integrated ISR, Space Superiority, Command & Control, Cyberspace Superiority, Personal Recovery, Global Precision Attack, Building Partnerships, Rapid Global Mobility and Agile Combat Support. A very long list I had no idea the Air Force did to maintain our National defense until researching their Birthday.
67 years does not seem to be a long time, considering we have only been using air craft to support ground troops since The Korean War. My daddy was in the Air Force during the late 50’s- early 60’s. Daddy was a diesel mechanic and worked on planes. He was stationed mainly in the Azores and then at Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan where he met and married my momma. My daddy passed away in 2010 and there is not a day that passes that I do not miss him. He was a GREAT story teller. So to all of our Airmen, past, present and future:
Off we go into the wild blue yonder, Climbing high into the sun
(The Airforce Song Words and Music by Captain Robert Crawford, ©1939)