USAF Logo – The United States Air Force (abbreviated as USAF) is the branch of the Armed Forces of the United States in charge of the air war. Initially being part of the United States Army under the name of Army Air Forces of the United States (USAAF), the current USAF was formed as an independent branch on September 18 of 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. It is the more recently established branch in the United States Armed Forces and the Air Force’s most technologically sophisticated world.
The USAF articulates its basic functions in its 2010 position statement as nuclear deterrence operations, special operations, air superiority, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance global superiority in space, command and control, superiority in cyberspace, rescue personnel, overall precision strike, advice and military cooperation, global air mobility and combat support.
As of 2009 the Air Force of the United States has 5,573 manned aircraft in monetization services (3,990 in active service units of the USAF, 1,213 in the Air National Guard, and 370 in the Air Force Reserve); approximately 180 unmanned combat aircraft, 2,130 cruise missile air-launched, and 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles. The USAF has 330,159 personnel on active duty troops, 68,872 troops in the selected reserve and individual ready, and 94,753 troops in the Air National Guard as of September 2008. Additionally, employs a total of 151,360 civilian workers, and has more than 60,000 auxiliary members in the Civil Air Patrol, making it the largest air force in the world.
The Air Force United States has more than 5,778 aircraft in service as of 2004. Until 1962, the Army and Air Force maintained one system of aircraft naming, while the U.S. Navy. had its own system. In 1962, these were unified into one system that emphasized the best individual of the original methods. For more information on these systems, refer to United States Department of Defense aerospace vehicle designation.