On September 18, 1947, the United States Air Force became a separate and independent branch of the US Armed Forces with the passage of the National Security Act of 1947. Since then, the military’s air service branch has defined itself with core missions like air supremacy, global surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence, rapid global mobility, and strategic command and control. To celebrate three-quarters of a century of distinguished service, the Air Force started off 2022 with an impressive display at the 133rd Tournament of Roses Parade and the 108th Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
On January 1, the Air Force Total Force Band marched in the Tournament of Roses parade. To mark the service’s 75th anniversary, the 75 Airmen-Musicians marched in the 75th spot in the parade lineup. To compliment the band, a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, roared over the parade and the Rose Bowl. The B-2 has supported both the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl for nearly 20 years. Its traditional flyover demonstrates the Air Force’s ability to project air power and serves to inspire onlookers.
Further highlighting the significance of the event, the Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. was in attendance. The service’s highest ranking officer highlighted the greatest strength of the Air Force and the nation; its people. “Ever since the Air Force became a separate military service, empowered Airmen have pushed the boundaries of technology and innovation that have allowed the service to excel and keep pace with the rapid changes and the demands placed upon us,” Gen. Brown said during a speech in Pasadena. “As the Air Force approaches its 75th anniversary, we have a responsibility to our nation and our international allies and partners. I am confident that our Airmen will continue to innovate, accelerate and thrive so that we can execute our mission to ‘Fly, Fight, and Win…Airpower Anytime, Anywhere.'”
The Air Force’s theme for its 75th anniversary is “Innovate, Accelerate, Thrive – The Air Force at 75.” This theme will drive the activities, events and observations that will take place throughout 2022 to celebrate the service’s anniversary. “The 75th anniversaries of the U.S. Air Force and the Department of the Air Force provides a unique opportunity to highlight the contributions of our Total Force Airmen, both past and present, who have fought and defended our nation in air and space,” Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said in a press release. “When you think about what the Air Force has accomplished since its inception in 1947, there’s so much to be proud of – it’s truly incredible.”
In 2019, the Department of the Air Force expanded with the establishment of the US Space Force. An independent branch, and sister branch to the Air Force, Space Force highlights the evolution of the Air Force and the military’s ability to adapt to changing times and environments. Since its creation from the US Army Air Force, the US Air Force has blazed a trail of innovation and technological advancement for 75 years and it shows no signs of slowing down.