The Department of the Air Force is headquartered in the Pentagon, Washington D.C. The service is organized in nine major commands throughout the world which provide combat aircraft, airlift, refueling, reconnaissance and other support to the Unified Combatant Commands.
The Air Force also has more than three dozen field operating agencies and direct reporting units which directly support the mission by providing unique services.
Together with Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard forces, the United States Air Force is the best in the world.
The Secretary of the Air Force is Deborah Lee James, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force is Gen. Mark A. Welsh, the Vice Chief of Staff is Gen. Larry O.Spencer, and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force is CMSAF James A. Cody.
Air Education and Training Command, with headquarters at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, was established and activated in January 1942, making it the second oldest major command in the Air Force and its' training mission makes it the first command to touch the lives of nearly every Air Force member. AETC was formed in 1942 as the Army Air Corps Flying Training Command with headquarters in Washington, D.C. During World War II the command provided technical and flying training at more than 600 installations, factories and institutions of higher learning. Over the years, more than 25 million students have graduated from AETC training and education programs.
AETC includes Air Force Recruiting Service, a numbered air force and the Air University. The command operates 12 major installations and supports tenant units on numerous bases across the globe. There are also 16 active duty and seven Reserve wings.
AETC's mission is to "Recruit, train and educate Airmen to deliver airpower for America."
AETC's vision is "Forging innovative Airmen to power the world's greatest Air Force."
The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win...in air, space and cyberspace.
To achieve that mission, the Air Force has a vision:
The United States Air Force will be a trusted and reliable joint partner with our sister services known for integrity in all of our activities, including supporting the joint mission first and foremost. We will provide compelling air, space, and cyber capabilities for use by the combatant commanders. We will excel as stewards of all Air Force resources in service to the American people, while providing precise and reliable Global Vigilance, Reach and Power for the nation.
The Air Force has three core competencies: Developing Airmen, Technology-to-Warfighting and Integrating Operations. These core competencies make our six distinctive capabilities possible:
Air and Space Superiority : With it, joint forces can dominate enemy operations in all dimensions -- land, sea, air and space.
Global Attack: Because of technological advances, the Air Force can attack anywhere, anytime -- and do so quickly and with greater precision than ever before.
Rapid Global Mobility: Being able to respond quickly and decisively anywhere we're needed is key to maintaining rapid global mobility.
Precision Engagement: The essence lies in the ability to apply selective force against specific targets because the nature and variety of future contingencies demand both precise and reliable use of military power with minimal risk and collateral damage.
Information Superiority: The ability of joint force commanders to keep pace with information and incorporate it into a campaign plan is crucial.
Agile Combat Support: Deployment and sustainment are keys to successful operations and cannot be separated. Agile combat support applies to all forces, from those permanently based to contingency buildups to expeditionary forces.
The Air Force bases these core competencies and distinctive capabilities on a shared commitment to three core values -- integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.
Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson
Col. Dean W. Lee
Director of Safety
TORCH is published quarterly to help promote safety awareness in the Air Education and Training Command, the Air Force and Department of Defense. This funded Air Force magazine is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. military services. Contents of TORCH are not necessarily the official view of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the Department of the Air Force. The editorial content is edited, prepared and provided by the Directorate of Safety, Air Education and Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, following public affairs publication guidelines outlined in DOD Instruction 5120.4 and Air Force Instruction 35-101. All photographs are Air Force photographs unless otherwise indicated.