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70 Years of Airpower & Innovation

Since 1947, courageous Airmen have refined the Air Force mission to Fly Fight and Win through their blood and sacrifice, ensuring the unique contributions of Airpower will endure long into the future. As a service with joint origins, the Air Force is the foundation for multi-service, interagency and coalition operations. It provides the joint team the ability and freedom to fight in the air, on the ground and at sea.

The Air Force created this website to commemorate its 70th Air Force Birthday. The site will highlight each generation of Airpower, from 1947 to today. It will showcase the barriers the Air Force has overcome to dominate the air, space and cyberspace domains, while looking toward the future of Multi-domain Command and Control and the Airmen who will help to keep the U.S. Air Force the greatest on the planet. The "generations" update will be released as follows:

April 22, 2017: 1960-1970
May 20, 2017: 1970-1980
June 18, 2017: 1980-1990
July 17, 2017: 1990-2000
August 17, 2017: 2000-2010
September 16, 2017: 2010 to beyond

1947 - 1960 GENERATION

1960 - 1970 GENERATION

Though the U.S. Air Force mission in Vietnam was initially training and advising the South Vietnamese air force, U.S. involvement began to escalate in 1964. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered Operation Rolling Thunder with the intent of destroying the North Vietnamese supply network and air defense system.

China and the Soviet Union assisted North Vietnam by providing weapons, uniforms and equipment as well as lending moral, logistical and technical military support. This created the strongest air defense system in the world.

Tuskeegee Airmen

1947 - 1960 GENERATION

WASHINGTON – Since its inception, the Air Force has consistently broken barriers as an element of the finest joint warfighting team on the planet, and its Airmen have refined its mission through innovation and teamwork.

There were only 318,744 Airmen within the Air Force at that time, but their accomplishments within the first decade quickly let the world know they were a force to be reckoned with.



Photo of Staff Sgt. Esther Blake

Staff Sgt. Esther Blake

Photo of General Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr.

General Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr.

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Paul Wesley Airey

CMSAF Paul Wesley Airey

General Bernard A. Schriever

General Bernard A. Schriever






70 Anniversary Technology Poster #1 60-70

USAF 1960 - 1970
Technological Innovations


70 Videos

AF 70th Birthday Promo

WGS-9 Launch Highlights

AF 70th Birthday Sports Promo