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Air force

the U.S. department consisting of practically all military aviation forces, established July 26, 1947.
(lowercase) a similar department in any military organization.
(lowercase) (formerly) the largest unit in the U.S. Army Air Forces.
(lowercase) a unit of U.S. Air Force command between an air division and an air command.
(sometimes lowercase) the military unit of a nation charged with carrying out military operations in the air.
British. Royal Air Force.
Contemporary Examples

He is a retired Air Force major and sounded like one, careful and precise in his language.
The Last Columbine Mystery Dave Cullen February 23, 2010

Key cabinet ministers and the heads of the army, navy, and Air Force are members of the nuclear authority.
The Scary Unraveling of Pakistan Ahmed Rashid November 29, 2009

Between Plouffe and Jen Psaki, Air Force One had no room for Robert Gibbs.
No Drama Obama’s Dramatic 2012 Reelection Campaign Richard Wolffe September 11, 2013

“So, about good for one tactical burst,” the first Air Force official said.
New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019 Dave Majumdar December 30, 2014

Blackwater airdropped supplies to stranded soldiers of the 82nd Airborne for free until the Air Force provided a contract.
Who Should Kill? Looking for Answers in Erik Prince’s Memoir Brian Castner November 21, 2013

Historical Examples

Far from it, for the experience of the war has taught only too well that the organization of an Air Force takes time and patience.
Opportunities in Aviation Arthur Sweetser

Jones of the Air Force asked, “Were all eight apprehended in large cities?”
Ten From Infinity Paul W. Fairman

Nor is there any evidence of special concern among Air Force officials about the growing criticism of their segregation policy.
Integration of the Armed Forces, 1940-1965 Morris J. MacGregor, Jr.

Some in the Air Force were worried about the long delay in approval.
Integration of the Armed Forces, 1940-1965 Morris J. MacGregor, Jr.

The making of our Air Force was a masterpiece of organization.
The War in the Air; Vol. 1 Walter Raleigh.


the branch of a nation’s armed services primarily responsible for air warfare
(as modifier): an air-force base

a formation in the US and certain other air forces larger than an air division but smaller than an air command

1917, from air (n.1) + force (n.); first attested with creation of the Royal Air Force. There was no United States Air Force until after World War II. The Air Corps was an arm of the U.S. Army. In 1942, the War Department reorganized it and renamed it Army Air Forces. The National Security Act of 1947 created the Department of the Air Force, headed by a Secretary of the Air Force, and the U.S.A.F.


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