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The Air Force is the youngest of all U.S. military services. Its birth date is September 18, 1947. On that day, the National Security Act became law. Signed by President Harry Truman, it set up the National Military Establishment, which was renamed the Department of Defense (DOD) in 1949.

The United States Air Force is the primary aerospace arm of our Nation's Armed Forces.  It is the intent of Congress to provide an Air Force that is capable, in conjunction with other armed forces, of preserving the peace and security, and providing for the defense, of the United States, the Territories, Commonwealths, and possessions, and any areas occupied by the United States; supporting the national policies; implementing the national objectives; and overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United States.

Our primary national security objective is to preserve the United States as a free nation with its fundamental institutions and values intact.  US military forces must be capable of achieving our national military objectives. To meet this goal, the Department of Defense creates and sustains military forces which can conduct warfare and achieve victory at all levels of conflict.

On 26 July 1948, President Truman issued Executive Order  that called for equal treatment within the military services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin. Of all the services, the Air Force was in the best position to respond to President Truman’s call because the Air Force had already been studying solutions to the problem of improving military efficiency. The objection of some Air Force leaders was met firmly by the new Secretary of the Air Force, W. Stuart Symington. Symington told the Air Force generals he expected no one to impede integration, and those who didn’t agree with the policy should resign. As early as 1947, Secretary Symington was on record that blacks should be able to enter the Air Force on the basis of their merits and abilities rather than their race. He is also given credit for taking part in the creation of President Truman’s Executive Order . Over the next few years, under his guidance the Air Force broke up black units and became the first service to complete integration. This program required a great deal of effort and patience on the part of all concerned, but it was the beginning of Air Force policies on equality as we know them today.

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F-16 Fighter Jets

The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations

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The B-2 Spirit is a multi-role bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. A dramatic leap forward in technology, the bomber represents a major milestone in the U.S. bomber modernization program. The B-2 brings massive firepower to bear, in a short time, anywhere on the globe through previously impenetrable defenses

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U.S. Air Force Academy

The bill establishing the U.S. Air Force Academy was signed by President Eisenhower on April 1, 1954. The first class of 306 cadets was sworn in on July 11, 1955, at Lowry Air Force Base, Denver, Colo., the academy's temporary location. The Cadet Wing moved into the academy's permanent home north of Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1958.

Cadets receive four years of academic, military, and physical education to prepare them for leadership as officers in the air force. The academy is authorized to enroll a total of 4,000 male and female cadets. Each new class averages 1,200. The candidates for the academy must be at least 17 and not have passed their 23rd birthday on July 1 of the year for which they enter the academy, must be a U.S. citizen, unmarried, have no dependents, be of good moral character, and be able to meet the mental and physical requirements. International students authorized admission are exempt from the U.S. citizenship requirement.

Cadets receive their entire education at government expense and, in addition, receive a monthly salary of $558.00 to pay for supplies, clothing, and personal expenses. Prior to admission, appointees deposit $2,500 to help defray the initial cost of uniforms, a personal computer, and supplies. Upon completion of the four-year program, leading to a bachelor of science degree, a cadet who meets the qualifications is commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.

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