The U.S. Air Force (USAF) was once part of the Army ; it was officially established as its own branch of the military on September 18, 1947, with the passage of the National Security Act. Under that act, the USAF's mission is to provide prompt and sustained offensive and defensive air operations in combat, to preserve the peace and security of the United States, and to fly and fight in air and space.
Before 1947, the Army and the Navy provided military aviation. The army's aviation section, the U.S. Signal Corps, was created in 1914. The USAF has fought in every war in U.S. history since World War I (1914–18). Like other branches of the military, the Air Force also participates in humanitarian efforts worldwide. One of the most famous was the Berlin Airlift of 1948–49.
According to Air Force Magazine, the 2006 USAF had a combined active duty and reserve field consisting of 302 flying squadrons.
Despite the fact that the USAF is the aviation branch of the military, most members never leave the ground; instead, they fill the hundreds of support positions necessary to maintain successful missions, working as mechanics, computer specialists, civil engineers, hospitality (restaurant) workers, lawyers, drug counselors, and others.
The most dangerous jobs in the Air Force are in the Pararescue, Combat Control, and Combat Weather divisions. These sections consist of enlisted members who go on special operations missions to rescue personnel, call in air strikes, and set up landing zones. The Air Force provides all training for almost every one of these enlisted jobs. After recruits go through basic training, they attend a technical training school for the particular positions they have chosen or been assigned.
Officer candidates train at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado . The academy was established on April 1, 1954, and the first class entered in July 1955. Women were first accepted in 1976. Graduates can be commissioned by any of the branches of the military. The USAF Academy is one of the most selective colleges in the United States.
Air Force ★★★½ 1943
One of the finest of the WWII movies, Hawks' exciting classic has worn well through the years, in spite of the Japanese propaganda. It follows the hazardous exploits of a Boeing B-17 bomber crew who fight over Pearl Harbor, Manila, and the Coral Sea. Extremely realistic dogfight sequences and powerful, introspective real guy interfacing by the ensemble cast are masterfully combined by Hawks. 124m/B VHS, DVD. John Garfield, John Ridgely, Gig Young, Arthur Kennedy, Charles Drake, Harry Carey Sr., George Tobias, Ray Montgomery, James Brown, Stanley Ridges, Willard Robertson, Moroni Olsen, Edward Brophy, Richard Lane, Faye Emerson, Addison Richards, James Flavin, Ann Doran, Dorothy Peterson, William Forrest, Ward Wood; D: Howard Hawks; W: Dudley Nichols, William Faulkner; C: James Wong Howe, Elmer Dyer, Charles A. Marshall; M: Franz Waxman. Oscars '43: Film Editing.