HAPPY 75th ANNIVERSARY to the US AIR FORCE
This summer the Galaxy Nostalgia Network is proud to salute the United States Air Force (USAF) as it celebrates its 75th Anniversary! The USAF was formally established in 1947 making it an equal and independent branch of the United States Armed Forces, after having been originally created in 1907 as a part of the United States Army Signal Corps. The enormous advancement in aeronautics and aviation during the first half of the 20th Century paved the way for the USAF to be developed into an equal, stand-alone branch of the military. In particular, during World War II, the Air Force was crucial to the Allied victory in every theater of the war as it enabled our nation to project power in ways that historically had been inconceivable. This development was punctuated as an exclamation mark in 1945 as the long-range Boeing B-29 Superfortress delivered atomic bombs against the adversary thereby bringing the War in the Pacific to a swift close.
In the post World War II period (i.e., the Cold War), the changing global power structure and highly charged political tensions elevated the USAF into perhaps the most vital part of the US nuclear arsenal. While the US Navy had charge over submarine-based nuclear weapons, it was the US Air Force's Strategic Air Command that had operational control over land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) along with nuclear bombs carried by long-range bombers like the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. In the aftermath of the Cold War (i.e., 1991 to date) there have been numerous reorganizations to not only reflect the changing global political climate but to incorporate upgrades in technical and operational capabilities. For example, during the Cold War, the USAF's mission was largely positioned to provide "massive retaliation" -- which is associated with the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) policy that characterized the wartime posture of the era. But with improved technology, this mission evolved into "flexible response" and eventually to "precision guided munitions." However it should also be noted that the USAF has also been an integral part of major humanitarian operations. Examples include but are not limited to the Berlin Airlift (1948-49), Operation Safe Haven (1957-58), Operations Babylift, New Life, Frequent Winds and New Arrivals (1975), Operation Provide Promise (1992-96) and Operation Tomodachi (2011). In war and peace, the USAF has ably served our nation and global allies.
The ability of the USAF to provide long-range assistance in both military and humanitarian terms on a rapid-deployment basis, often in expeditionary or harsh environments, make this 75th Anniversary an opportunity to salute a branch of the US military that truly exemplifies its motto:
"Integrity first, Service before self, Excellence in all we do."
Do any of you in our wonderful GNN audience have special memories of the US Air Force either through your own life experience or perhaps a loved one or friend who has served in this remarkable branch of the US military? If so, please submit your thoughts or reminiscences to the Galaxy Nostalgia Network (GNN) website or to the GNN Facebook Page (and please "like" us when doing so). I will start the conversation by noting that my mother, Victoria Villarreal Haloulakos (1925-2018), was a US Civil Servant in the US Air Force and shared vivid recollections of meeting General Curtis LeMay (who was in charge of the USAF Strategic Air Command during the Cold War) and that her favorite aircraft was the B-52 (which is still in active service more than 65+ years after its inception). In blessed memory of all those who have served while also saluting those currently in active service, please join us in wishing the US Air Force a well-deserved HAPPY 75th ANNIVERSARY!