The United States Air Force is the newest branch of the United States military, having been established on September 17, 1947. The Air Force has three components: the active-duty force, the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard.
The mission of the Air Force is to protect and defend the United States both on foreign and domestic soil. The active-duty Air Force protects both stateside bases, overseas bases, and helps in the war effort on enemy soil. The Air Force Reserve augments the active-duty force, and serves in the same locations. The Air National Guard has a double mission, both federal and state. During peacetime, the Air National Guard, controlled by each individual state, and is tasked with training and defending the United States on home territory. In addition, the Air National Guard is called to assist with rescue and recovery during natural disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes. During wartime, the Air National Guard continues their state mission, but can also be called to federal service by the President to help with the wartime effort. The Air National Guard can be activated to federal service as a whole unit or by individual airman.
The Air Force is a valuable part of the military and has over 282,822 airmen serving in all three components.