The first F-35 Lightning II of the 33rd Fighter Wing arriving at Eglin AFB
AAF Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
Seal of National Military Establishment (1947–1949), which was later renamed the Department of Defense.
An Air Force RQ-4 strategic reconnaissance aircraft
General of the Army Henry H. ("Hap") Arnold
Seal of the Department of the Air Force, established by the National Security Act of 1947.
An Air Force KC-46 Pegasus refuels a C-17A Globemaster III
USAAF recruitment poster
President Truman signs the National Security Act Amendment of 1949. Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson leans over the desk. Behind him is Admiral Louis Denfeld, General Omar N. Bradley, and General Hoyt Vandenberg.
An Air Force A-10 demonstrating close air support at Nellis AFB
Tuskegee Airmen War bonds poster
The first page of the National Security Act of 1947.
Test launch of a LGM-30 Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg AFB
1943 portrait of WAC air controller
The last page of the National Security Act of 1947. Signed by Speaker of the House of Representatives Joseph W. Martin, Jr. (R-MA), President of the Senate pro tempore Arthur H. Vandenberg (R-MI), and President Harry S. Truman.
Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base
AAF Training Command patch
President Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 on board this VC-54C Presidential transport, the first aircraft used for the role of Air Force One.
Roundels that have appeared on U.S. military aircraft
1.) 5/1917–2/1918
2.) 2/1918–8/1919
3.) 8/1919–5/1942
4.) 5/1942–6/1943
5.) 6/1943–9/1943
6.) 9/1943–1/1947
7.) 1/1947–
USAAF recruiting poster
The SR-71 Blackbird was a Cold War reconnaissance plane.
USAAF insignia from July 1943 to January 1947
The F-117 Nighthawk was a stealth attack aircraft (retired from service in April 2008).
B-17G Fortresses of the 306th Bomb Group
A row of Douglas C-54 Skymasters during the Berlin Airlift in 1949
P-51 Mustang of 361st Fighter Group, 1944
Various Air Force personnel pose during the Air Force's 74th birthday celebration at the Pentagon, September 17, 2021.
Taylorcraft L-2
Organization of the United States Air Force within the Department of Defense
C-47 of the 438th Troop Carrier Group
25px
USAAF AT-6Cs near Luke Field, 1943
Pararescuemen and a simulated "survivor" watch as an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter comes in for a landing
UC-64 Norseman
U.S. Air Force trainee demonstrating a butt stroke on a strike dummy as part of Basic Military Training.
General Carl A. Spaatz
USAF Airmen training at Lackland AFB
Medal of Honor recipient Major Richard Bong in Officer's Service Dress
A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack aircraft
Awards ceremony at RAF Debden, April 1944, illustrating varying shades of olive drab and the M-1944 "Ike jacket". Light shade 33 on left, dark shade 51 on right. Trousers are shade 33, khaki shade 1, and drab shade 54. The three combinations at right are "pinks and greens".
B-2 Spirit stealth bomber
At the AAF School of Air Evacuation at Bowman Field, Ky., student flight nurses learned how to handle patients with the aid of a mock-up fuselage of a Douglas C-47 transport.
A C-17 Globemaster III, the USAF's newest and most versatile transport plane
Female service dress in OD shade 33 at Randolph Field, 1944
E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system
USAAF flight crew
F-22 Raptor stealth air superiority fighter
First Air Force
KC-10 Extender tri-jet air-to-air tanker
Second Air Force
An MC-12W Liberty at Beale AFB
Third Air Force
MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle
Fourth Air Force
Lockheed U-2 spy plane
Fifth Air Force
RQ-170 Sentinel stealth unmanned aerial vehicle reconnaissance aircraft
Sixth Air Force
VC-25A (Air Force One)
Seventh Air Force
A WC-130J Hercules from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron
Eighth Air Force
An unarmed Minuteman III ICBM shoots out of the silo during an operational test launch
Ninth Air Force
Tenth Air Force
Eleventh Air Force
Twelfth Air Force
Thirteenth Air Force
Fourteenth Air Force
Fifteenth Air Force
Twentieth Air Force

Originally created on August 1, 1907 as a part of the United States Army Signal Corps, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the United States Armed Forces in 1947 with the enactment of the National Security Act of 1947.

- United States Air Force

It was created on 20 June 1941 as successor to the previous United States Army Air Corps and is the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force, today one of the six armed forces of the United States.

- United States Army Air Forces

The act also created the position of the secretary of defense as the head of the NME It established the United States Air Force under the DAF, which worked to separate the Army Air Forces into its own service.

- National Security Act of 1947

Although other nations already had separate air forces independent of their army or navy (such as the British Royal Air Force and the German Luftwaffe), the AAF remained a part of the Army until a defense reorganization in the post-war period resulted in the passage by the United States Congress of the National Security Act of 1947 with the creation of an independent United States Air Force in September 1947.

- United States Army Air Forces

In practice, the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) was virtually independent of the Army during World War II, and in virtually every way functioned as an independent service branch, but airmen still pressed for formal independence.

- United States Air Force
The first F-35 Lightning II of the 33rd Fighter Wing arriving at Eglin AFB

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United States Department of Defense

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Executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national security and the United States Armed Forces.

Executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national security and the United States Armed Forces.

President Truman signs the National Security Act Amendment of 1949
Department of Defense organizational chart (December 2013)
2008 OSD organizational chart
Joint Chiefs of Staff/Joint Staff organizational chart
Combatant command areas of responsibility
Defense Spending as a Percent of GDP (1792–2017)
Total United States Defense Outlays 1962–2024, $millions (2019-2024 estimated)
Defense Intelligence Agency
National Security Agency
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
National Reconnaissance Office
Department of the Army
Department of the Navy
Department of the Air Force
U.S. Army
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Navy
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Space Force

On 26 July 1947, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, which set up a unified military command known as the "National Military Establishment", as well as creating the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, National Security Resources Board, United States Air Force (formerly the Army Air Forces) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.