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United States

Air Force


United States Air Force 

Brief History:

1892 balloon section established by US Army. August 1907 Aeronautical Division of Army Signal Corps established. 2 August 1909 first aircraft delivered. 18 July 1914 Signal Corps Aviation Section established - first permanent unit. 1916 first National Guard air unit. August 1917 US Army Air Service established for American Expeditionary Force in France. 24 April 1918 Aviation Section separated from Signal Corps and renamed American Air Service. 1920 Air Service made full combatant arm of US Army. 2 July 1926 Air Service renamed Army Air Corps. 20 June 1941 Army Air Force replaces Air Corps, with revised and expanded organisation. 18 September 1947 US Air Force replaces USAAF, becoming fully independent air arm. 

National Markings:

First Line Types: Second Line Types:

The main marking is displayed in 4 positions (ie above port and below starboard wing, and on each side of the tailfin) on aircraft - but on fuselage sides only on helicopters. Frontline types carry a toned down version, with the blue and red areas painted black or grey, and the white areas left as background colour. The service title U.S. AIR FORCE is sometimes displayed on the fuselage sides. 

Main Headquarters:

The Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330. 

Aircraft Inventory:

current service types


Order of Battle- 

    -    U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM)

    -    U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)

    -    U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE)

    -    Pacific Air Forces (PACAF)

    -    CONUS based commands 

            -   Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC)

            -   Air Combat Command (ACC)

            -   Air Mobility Command (AMC)

            -   Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)

            -   Air Education and Training Command (AETC)

                  -    Air Force Recruiting Service (AFRS)

            -   Air Force Material Command (AFMC)

            -   Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)

    -    Air National Guard (ANG)

    -    Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC)

    -    Field Operating Agencies

           -    Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (AFISRA)

            -   Air Force Office of Special Investigation (AFOSI)

Historical Orders of Battle:

Historical Order of Battle (as at 2009)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 2010)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 2011)


  • World Air Power Journal No.4 p.132
  • World Air Power Journal No.6 p.142
  • World Air Power Journal No.20 p.146
  • World Air Power Journal No.23 p.72
  • Military Balance (IISS)

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First Created: 20 December 1995 - Last Revised: 16 October 2011
Copyright 1995 Erich KLAUS.     e-mail: