Today's Air Force

Explorations of the future must proceed from where the Air Force stands today: the world’s most powerful air and space force. New technology and new operational concepts already offer an alternative to the kind of military operation that pits large numbers of young Americans against an adversary in brute, force-on-force conflicts. This new way of war leverages technologically superior U.S. military capabilities to achieve national objectives. It is a strategy of asymmetric force that applies U.S. advantages to strike directly at an adversary’s ability to wage war. It offers potentially decisive capabilities to the Joint Force Commander to dominate the conduct of an adversary’s operations across the spectrum of conflict.

But technology and tactics only go so far. Our core values, history, mission and the professionalism with which they are brought together are what make us the institution we are today. Our core values are simple and forthright:
  • Integrity first
  • Service before self
  • Excellence in all we do
  • These values are both a guide and source of great pride to the men and women of the Air Force team. As we plan for the future, it is important to remember that what makes the Air Force successful will not change. Quality people define the Air Force. From the flightline to the depot to the workstation transmitting on-orbit satellite repair instructions, it is the professionalism and dedication of our people that makes the Air Force the preeminent air and space force to meet the nation’s needs.

    The men and women of the Air Force can build upon a tremendous heritage. They are the beneficiaries of an Air Force forged in World War II by the vision of airmen such as General Henry H. (Hap) Arnold. We have the opportunity today, on the eve of the 21st Century, to build a new vision that will ensure the future vitality of our force. Our challenge is to dominate air and space as a unique dimension of military power. Global Engagement provides the strategic blueprint for meeting that challenge.

    Planning Into the Next Century
    Air Force XPX