Happy 72nd Birthday to the U.S. Air Force
As my “military alma mater” – the U.S. Air Force — celebrates its 72nd birthday, as tensions rise and as some are beating the drums of (retaliatory) strikes, one in which the Air Force could be asked to play an important role, it is appropriate to take a look at this military service that was established as a separate, independent military service on Sept. 18, 1947.
But, as acting Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan says, the Air Force’s ”roots reach farther back…[Its] story began with a garage startup, two bicycle mechanics, and an airplane. Today we’re going faster, higher and smarter than ever before in air, space and cyberspace domains.”
In fact, according to James M. Lindsay in a piece at the Council of Foreign Relations:
The origins of the USAF lie in a decision made just four years after the Wright Brothers conducted the world’s first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In 1907, the U.S. Army Signal Corps created an Aeronautical Division and put it in “charge of all matters pertaining to military ballooning, air machines and all kindred subjects.” As aviation technology improved, the army’s air force grew bigger. An independent military arm became virtually inevitable after the Army Air Forces became an autonomous U.S. Army Command in 1942 and then grew substantially throughout the remainder of World War II. On July 26, 1947, President Harry Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 on board the presidential aircraft, the Sacred Cow, and set the creation of the USAF in motion.
It has been 72 years since that signature aboard the Sacred Cow, and even longer since the first flight at Kitty Hawk, and the Air Force has come a long way.
Here is a video highlighting “Five Reasons No Nation Wants to Go to Fight with the U.S. Air Force.”