Notes on Air Force Handbook 1, dated 1 Nov 21, Chapter 4, Military Organization and Command


7 Feb 2022. The 2021 Air Force Handbook is not available and may not exist. The E-5 and E-6 Study Guides were released and posted to the official Air Force website (https://www.studyguides.af.mil/) on 1 Feb 2022. This website was updated using the content from the E-6 Study Guide under the assumption that both study guides contained the same content. However, there are differences between the two study guides as noted below. Questions related to these differences have been removed or edited, as necessary, to avoid conflict between the two versions and ensure accuracy.

The phrase, "Air Force", was replaced globally by "USAF" in the E-5 Study Guide.

Paragraph numbering for Section E, Air Force Structure, is different: E-5 Study Guide has 4.14., 4.15, and 4.16. E-6 Study Guide has Section E as 4.10., 4.11., and 4.12.


Section 4A, United States Armed Forces


2021 E5 Study Guide

4.1.
Chain of Command. By statute, the chain of command runs from the U.S. President, through the Secretary of Defense, to the Combatant Commanders. For all forces not assigned to the Combatant Commanders, the chain of command runs from the U.S. President, through the Secretary of Defense, to the Secretaries of the military departments. When forces are assigned to the Combatant Commanders, administrative control over those forces still typically flows through their respective service branch. Note: A provision of the Public Law 99-433, Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, 1 October 1986, permits the U.S. President to authorize communications through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, placing the Chairman in the communications chain of command.

2021 E6 Study Guide

4.1.
Chain of Command. By statute, the chain of command runs from the U.S. President, through the Secretary of Defense, to the Combatant Commanders. For all forces not assigned to the Combatant Commanders, the chain of command runs from the U.S. President, through the Secretary of Defense, to the Secretaries of the military departments. When forces are assigned to the Combatant Commanders, administrative control over those forces still typically flows through their respective service branch. Note: A provision of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 permits the U.S. President to authorize communications through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, placing the Chairman in the communications chain of command.

2021 E5 Study Guide

4.2. Department of Defense With over 1.3 million members in the Regular Forces, another 826,000 in the National Guard and Reserve Forces, and 742,000 civilian personnel, the Department of Defense is America's largest government agency. The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide military forces to deter war and protect the security of our country. Headquartered at the Pentagon, the Department of Defense includes the Office of the Secretary of Defense; the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Joint Staff; and the Departments of the Army, Navy (including the Marine Corps), and Air Force (including the Space Force).

2021 E6 Study Guide

4.2. Department of Defense With over 1.3 million members in the Regular Forces, another 826,000 in the National Guard and Reserve Forces, and 742,000 civilian personnel, the Department of Defense is America's largest government agency. The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide military forces to deter war and protect the security of our country. Headquartered at the Pentagon, the Department of Defense includes the Office of the Secretary of Defense; the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Joint Staff; and the Departments of the Army, Navy (including the Marine Corps), and Air Force.

2021 E5 Study Guide

The Armed Forces Policy Council.
The Armed Forces Policy Council assists in matters requiring a long-range view, formulates broad defense policy, and advises the Secretary of Defense on policies, as requested. The Armed Forces Policy Council consists of the Secretary of Defense serving as the Chairman of the Council; the Deputy Secretary of Defense; Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and USAF; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment; and the Service Chiefs.

2021 E6 Study Guide

The Armed Forces Policy Council.
The Armed Forces Policy Council assists in matters requiring a long-range view, formulates broad defense policy, and advises the Secretary of Defense on policies, as requested. The Armed Forces Policy Council consists of the Secretary of Defense serving as the Chairman of the Council; the Deputy Secretary of Defense; Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Under Secretaries of Defense for Policy and for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics; the Deputy under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology; and the Service Chiefs.

2021 E5 Study Guide

Under Secretaries of Defense.
There are six Under Secretaries of Defense (Policy; Comptroller; Personnel and Readiness; Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S); Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering; and Intelligence) who assist the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary of Defense receives staff assistance through a number of special agencies, such as the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Security Service, and Defense Logistics Agency, which provide special skills, expertise, and advice.

2021 E6 Study Guide

Under Secretaries of Defense.
There are five Under Secretaries of Defense (Policy; Comptroller; Personnel and Readiness; Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; and Intelligence) who assist the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary of Defense receives staff assistance through a number of special agencies, such as the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Security Service, and Defense Logistics Agency, which provide special skills, expertise, and advice.



Section 4C, Military Command Structure


2021 E5 Study Guide

4.8. Combatant Command Organization
There are currently 11 combatant commands, as shown in Figure 4.2. They are organized geographically or functionally. Geographic combatant commands operate in clearly delineated areas of responsibility and have a distinctive regional military focus. Geographic unified combatant commands include: U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and U.S. Southern Command. Functional combatant commands operate world-wide across geographic boundaries and provide unique capabilities to geographic combatant commands and the services. Functional unified combatant commands include: U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Cyber Command, U.S. Transportation Command, and U.S. Space Command.

2021 E6 Study Guide

4.8. Combatant Command Organization
There are currently 10 combatant commands, as shown in Figure 4.2. They are organized geographically or functionally. Geographic combatant commands operate in clearly delineated areas of responsibility and have a distinctive regional military focus. Geographic unified combatant commands include: U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and U.S. Southern Command. Functional combatant commands operate world-wide across geographic boundaries and provide unique capabilities to geographic combatant commands and the services. Functional unified combatant commands include: U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Cyber Command, and U.S. Transportation Command.

2021 E5 Study Guide

4.9. USAF Service Component to a Combatant Commander In compliance with Title 10 United States Code, Armed Forces, and the Unified Command Plan, the Secretary of the Air Force, in accordance with direction of the Secretary of Defense, selects and assigns Air Force Forces to Air Force Service Component Commands, commanded by a Commander, Air Force Forces (COMAFFOR). The COMAFFOR is under the operational branch authority (also called operational control or OPCON) of the combatant commander to whom he or she is assigned, and under the administrative branch authority (also called administrative control or ADCON) of the Secretary of the Air Force. Further details can be found in AFI 38-101, Manpower and Organization, 29 August 2019.

2021 E6 Study Guide

4.9. Air Force Service Component to a Combatant Commander In compliance with Title 10 United States Code, Armed Forces, and the Unified Command Plan, the Secretary of the Air Force, in accordance with direction of the Secretary of Defense, selects and assigns Air Force Forces to Air Force Service Component Commands, commanded by a Commander, Air Force Forces (COMAFFOR). The COMAFFOR is under the operational branch authority (also called operational control or OPCON) of the combatant commander to whom he or she is assigned, and under the administrative branch authority (also called administrative control or ADCON) of the Secretary of the Air Force. Further details can be found in AFI 38-101, Air Force Organization.

2021 E5 Study Guide

4.8.
United States Space Command.
United States Space Command conducts operations in, from and to space to deter conflict, and, if necessary, defeat aggression, deliver space combat power for the Joint/Combined Force and defend U.S. vital interests with allies and partners. Ultimately, space combat power is how United States Space Command ensures there is never a day without space.

2021 E6 Study Guide

4.11.
Air Force Space Command.
Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) was activated as a MAJCOM on 1 September 1982, is headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, and is one of two Air Force Components of U.S. Strategic Command. AFSPC's mission is to provide resilient and cost-effective space and cyberspace capabilities for the Joint Force and the Nation. AFSPC organizes, equips, trains, and maintains mission-ready space and cyberspace forces and capabilities for North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Strategic Command, and other combatant commands around the world. AFSPC spacelift operations provide services, facilities, and range safety control for the conduct of 18 Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and commercial launches. Through the command and control of all Department of Defense satellites, satellite operators provide force-multiplying effects through continuous global coverage, low vulnerability, and autonomous operations. Satellites provide essential in-theater secure communications, weather and navigational data for ground, air and fleet operations, and threat warning. Maintaining space superiority is an emerging capability required to protect space assets. New transformational space programs are continuously being researched and developed to enable AFSPC to stay on the leading-edge of technology. Collectively, AFSPC units are the warfighting organizations that establish, operate, maintain, and defend Air Force networks and conduct full-spectrum operations. Made up of cyberspace professionals, a diverse blend of career fields ensure the Air Force and Joint Force ability to conduct operations via cyberspace. Overall, more than 35,000 space and cyberspace professionals are assigned to AFSPC at 134 locations worldwide. More than 4,600 men and women conduct or support 24-hour cyberspace operations for 24th Air Force units. In addition, more than 10,000 Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel directly support the AFSPC cyberspace mission. Following the establishment of the U.S. Space Force as a new Armed Service within the Department of the Air Force, the SECAF designated AFSPC as Headquarters USSF, and re- designated 14th Air Force as the Space Operations Command (SpOC) -one of three Field Commands in the USSF. Effective October 21, 2020, SECAF re-designated the former AFSPC staff organization at Peterson Space Force Base as HQ SpOC. This re-designation aligned the Field Command responsibility for organizing, training and equipping and presenting USSF forces to the staff and commander responsible for executing this mission.








Changes since last (2019) edition of the Air Force Handbook:

Para 4.4. Space Force added.

Para 4.5. Functions of the United States Space Force was added.

Para 4.10./4.14. Air Force Mission wording changed (see below). Space Force was added. Department of the Air Force changed from being comprised of two to three major entities.

Para 4.11./4.15. Air Force Space Command. Two paragraphs were added to the description.

Para 4.11./4.15. Air Force Reserve Command. Changed from 14% of the total force to 20%.


2021 E6 Study Guide

Section 4B-Military Departments

4.4. Defending the Nation

Since the Nation's birth, our military has had the constitutional duty to ensure national survival, defend lives and property, and promote vital interests at home and abroad. Jointly, senior military leaders underwrite the strategy of defending the homeland and assuring allies, while dissuading, deterring, and defeating enemies. The military departments consist of the Army, Navy (including the Marine Corps and, in wartime, the Coast Guard), and the Air Force (including the Space Force),as shown in Figure 4.1.

2019 Air Force Handbook

Section 4B-Military Departments

4.4. Defending the Nation

Since the Nation's birth, our military has had the constitutional duty to ensure national survival, defend lives and property, and promote vital interests at home and abroad. Jointly, senior military leaders underwrite the strategy of defending the homeland and assuring allies, while dissuading, deterring, and defeating enemies. The military departments consist of the Army, Navy (including the Marine Corps and, in wartime, the Coast Guard), and the Air Force, as shown in Figure 4.1.

2021 E6 Study Guide

4.5. Functions of the United States Space Force. The Department of the Air Force is composed of air, space, and cyberspace forces, both combat and support, not otherwise assigned. The Air Force and Space Force are the Nation's principal air and space forces, and are responsible for thepreparation of forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war. The Department of the Air Force shall organize, train, equip, and provide air, space, and cyberspace forces for the conduct of prompt and sustained combat operations, military engagement, and security cooperation in defense of the Nation, and to support the other Military Services and joint forces. The Air Force and Space Force will provide the Nation with global vigilance, global reach, and global power inthe form of in-place, forward-based, and expeditionary forces possessing the capacity to deter aggression and violence by state, non-state, and individual actors to prevent conflict, and, shoulddeterrence fail, prosecute the full range of military operations in support of U.S. national interests. The Space Force, within the Department of the Air Force, shall develop concepts, doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures and organize, train, equip, and provide forces to perform the following specific functions: (1) Provide freedom of operation for the United States in, from, and to space. (2) Provide prompt and sustained space operations. (3) Protect the interests of the United States in space. (4) Deter aggression in, from, and to space. (5) Conduct space operations.

2019 Air Force Handbook

Does not Exist in 2019 AFH-1

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4.10. Department of the United States Air Force

Title 10 United States Code, Armed Forces, provides specified duties, responsibilities, and legal obligations of the Department of the Air Force. The Air Force's mission is to fly, fight, and win...airpower anytime, anywhere. The Department of the Air Force is comprised of Headquarters Air Force and field units and Headquarters Space Force and field units. It is responsible for preparing the air, space and cyber forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war and military operations short of war for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Air Force and Space Force to meet the needs of war. Headquarters Air Force consists of three major entities: the Secretariat (including the Secretary of the Air Force and the Secretary's principal staff) and the Air Staff (headed by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force), and the Space Staff (headed by the Chief of Space Operations). Field units are the component organizations within the Air Force and Space Force.

2019 Air Force Handbook

4.14. Department of the United States Air Force

Title 10 United States Code, Armed Forces, provides specified duties, responsibilities, and legal obligations of the Department of the Air Force. The Air Force's mission is to fly, fight, and win...in air, space, and cyberspace. The Department of the Air Force is comprised of Headquarters Air Force and field units. It is responsible for preparing the air, space and cyber forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war and military operations short of war for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Air Force to meet the needs of war. Headquarters Air Force consists of two major entities: the Secretariat (including the Secretary of the Air Force and the Secretary's principal staff) and the Air Staff (headed by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force). Field units are the component organizations within the Air Force.

2021 E6 Study Guide

4.11. Air Force Space Command. Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) was activated as a MAJCOM on 1 September 1982, is headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, and is one of two Air Force Components of U.S. Strategic Command. AFSPC's mission is to provide resilient and cost-effective space and cyberspace capabilities for the Joint Force and the Nation. AFSPC organizes, equips, trains, and maintains mission-ready space and cyberspace forces and capabilities for North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Strategic Command, and other combatant commands around the world. AFSPC spacelift operations provide services, facilities, and range safety control for the conduct of Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and commercial launches.

Through the command and control of all Department of Defense satellites, satellite operators provide force-multiplying effects through continuous global coverage, low vulnerability, and autonomous operations. Satellites provide essential in-theater secure communications, weather and navigational data for ground, air and fleet operations, and threat warning. Maintaining space superiority is an emerging capability required to protect space assets. New transformational space programs are continuously being researched and developed to enable AFSPC to stay on the leading-edge of technology.

Collectively, AFSPC units are the warfighting organizations that establish, operate, maintain, and defend Air Force networks and conduct full-spectrum operations. Made up of cyberspace professionals, a diverse blend of career fields ensure the Air Force and Joint Force ability to conduct operations via cyberspace. Overall, more than 35,000 space and cyberspace professionals are assigned to AFSPC at 134 locations worldwide. More than 4,600 men and women conduct or support 24-hour cyberspace operations for 24th Air Force units. In addition, more than 10,000 Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel directly support the AFSPC cyberspace mission.

Following the establishment of the U.S. Space Force as a new Armed Service within the Department of the Air Force, the SECAF designated AFSPC as Headquarters USSF, and re-designated 14th Air Force as the Space Operations Command (SpOC) -one of three Field Commands in the USSF.

Effective October 21, 2020, SECAF re-designated the former AFSPC staff organization at Peterson Space Force Base as HQ SpOC. This re-designation aligned the Field Command responsibility for organizing, training and equipping and presenting USSF forces to the staff and commander responsible for executing this mission.

2019 Air Force Handbook

4.15. Air Force Space Command. Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) was activated as a MAJCOM on 1 September 1982, is headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, and is one of two Air Force Components of U.S. Strategic Command. AFSPC's mission is to provide resilient and cost-effective space and cyberspace capabilities for the Joint Force and the Nation. AFSPC organizes, equips, trains, and maintains mission-ready space and cyberspace forces and capabilities for North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Strategic Command, and other combatant commands around the world. AFSPC spacelift operations provide services, facilities, and range safety control for the conduct of Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and commercial launches.

Through the command and control of all Department of Defense satellites, satellite operators provide force-multiplying effects through continuous global coverage, low vulnerability, and autonomous operations. Satellites provide essential in-theater secure communications, weather and navigational data for ground, air and fleet operations, and threat warning. Maintaining space superiority is an emerging capability required to protect space assets. New transformational space programs are continuously being researched and developed to enable AFSPC to stay on the leading-edge of technology.

Collectively, AFSPC units are the warfighting organizations that establish, operate, maintain, and defend Air Force networks and conduct full-spectrum operations. Made up of cyberspace professionals, a diverse blend of career fields ensure the Air Force and Joint Force ability to conduct operations via cyberspace. Overall, more than 35,000 space and cyberspace professionals are assigned to AFSPC at 134 locations worldwide. More than 4,600 men and women conduct or support 24-hour cyberspace operations for 24th Air Force units. In addition, more than 10,000 Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel directly support the AFSPC cyberspace mission.

2021 E6 Study Guide

4.11. Air Force Reserve Command. Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) was activated as a MAJCOM on 17 February 1997, and is headquartered at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. AFRC's mission is to provide combat-ready forces to fly, fight, and win. AFRC provides the U.S. Air Force approximately 20 percent of the Total Force for about 5 percent of the manpower budget. Capabilities include nuclear deterrence operations; air, space, and cyberspace superiority; command and control; global integrated intelligence surveillance reconnaissance; global precision attack; special operations; rapid global mobility; and personnel recovery. AFRC also perform space operations, aircraft flight testing, aerial port operations, civil engineering, security forces, military training, communications, mobility support, transportation, and services missions. The commander of AFRC is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping all Air Force Reserve units. Overall, AFRC is composed of three Numbered Air Forces, a Force Generation Center, the Air Reserve Personnel Center, 35 wings, 10 independent groups, various mission support units, and additional miscellaneous locations and ranges. AFRC has nearly 74,718 Total Force members assigned to accomplish the demands of its diverse mission.

2019 Air Force Handbook

4.15. Air Force Reserve Command. Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) was activated as a MAJCOM on 17 February 1997, and is headquartered at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. AFRC's mission is to provide combat-ready forces to fly, fight, and win. AFRC provides the U.S. Air Force approximately 14 percent of the Total Force for about 4 percent of the manpower budget. Capabilities include nuclear deterrence operations; air, space, and cyberspace superiority; command and control; global integrated intelligence surveillance reconnaissance; global precision attack; special operations; rapid global mobility; and personnel recovery. AFRC also perform space operations, aircraft flight testing, aerial port operations, civil engineering, security forces, military training, communications, mobility support, transportation, and services missions. The commander of AFRC is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping all Air Force Reserve units. Overall, AFRC is composed of three Numbered Air Forces, a Force Generation Center, the Air Reserve Personnel Center, 37 wings, 8 independent groups, various mission support units, and additional miscellaneous locations and ranges. AFRC has nearly 77,000 Total Force members assigned to accomplish the demands of its diverse mission.