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April 14 – Air Force Reserve Birthday

April 14, 1948

Today is the Air Force Reserve birthday. Here’s to many more years of being ready to fly, fight, and win!

Since President Harry Truman called for the formation of the Air Force Reserve in 1948, it has served as a critical part of the United States’ defense. Operating in various locations across the world, the Air Force Reserve has evolved from a standby force for emergencies to a Major Command of the active duty Air Force. The reserve currently performs about 20 percent of the work of the Air Force, including traditional flying missions and other more specialized missions, such as Weather Reconnaissance (Hurricane Hunters), Modular Aerial Fire Fighting, and Personnel Recovery (pararescue).

The Air Force Reserve is comprised of the 4th, 10th, and 22nd Air Force. Under those numbered Air Forces there are 35 wings, 10 independent groups and various mission support units. The most recent estimate had total membership at 69,200. On any given day, 99 percent of the Air Force Reserves’ aircraft are mission-ready and able to deploy within 72 hours if need be. In addition to flying units, the Reserves also includes numerous ground organizations including medical units, civil engineers, intelligence and space operations, security forces, and more.

The Air Force Reserve also contains other specialized capabilities not included in regular active duty Air Force units. Along with its Air National Guard and regular Air Force partners, the Air Force Reserve also participates in national and international humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions as directly by higher authority. The Reserves also supports counter-narcotics operations by performing detection and interdiction efforts outside the United States with the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies.