US Air Force Celebrates 73rd Anniversary
Reported By 1SG C.Brock
Image credit: US Air Force
Today the United States Air Force marks its anniversary, celebrating 73 years of service to our nation.
On this date in 1947, the Air Force was founded as a branch of the Department of Defense under the National Security Act.
But the roots of American military aviation go back to the beginning of the 20th century. On August 1, 1907, the U.S. Army Signal Corps established the Aeronautical Division, the nation’s first powered aircraft unit. Initially tasked with observation and reconnaissance missions, further flight testing by the unit would reveal the tactical benefits of air power.
American aviators would get a baptism of fire soon after, joining the Allies in World War I, and dueling against some of the Central Powers’ greatest aces. The experiences of these battle-hardened pilots and crew would lead to on-going development of military aviation.
It was during World War II that U.S. Army Air Forces would reveal the strategic power of military aviation. Allied bombing campaigns over occupied Europe and Japan brought our country’s enemies to their knees, destroying their capability to wage war against the free peoples of the world.
This legacy, together with the developments of jet aircraft and ballistic missiles, set the stage for the United States Air Force’s founding in the early days of the Cold War..
Established as an independent branch of the Armed Services so many decades ago, our nation’s Airmen continue to project defensive and offensive air power around the globe.
Now the second largest military service branch, the U.S. Air Force consists of over 320,000 active duty Airmen, with nearly 175,000 additional personnel serving in the Air Force Reserves and Air National Guard. With over 5,300 active military aircraft, and more than 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles, these fighting men and women stand ready to face the evolving challenges of the 21st century.