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Air Force Reserve: Missions
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Missions
Introduction

The Air Force Reserve performs many of the day-to-day functions on bases around the United States. About 20 percent of the work of the Air Force is performed by members of the Air Force Reserve. As the Air Force Reserve takes on more duties, missions change. Missions are not to be confused with jobs, of which there are many. For example, if you are interested in a particular mission listed here but do not believe you have the skills or training to be involved, remember - we train people. We can teach you the skills; we want you to bring the enthusiasm.

Cyber Mission
The Cyber Mission is comprised of Cyberspace Operations and Systems, and is increasingly critical to modern warfighting capabilities. Cyberspace Operations involves the design, installation and support of advanced computer and software systems, including keeping them safe and secure from outside intrusion. Cyberspace Systems encompasses the utilization of all systems in support of tactical and strategic operations.
Aerial Spray
Download PDF Brochure The 757th Airlift Squadron of the 910th Airlift Wing conducts the only aerial spray missions in the Air Force. These Reservists use four C-130H aircraft equipped with Modular Aerial Spray Systems (MASS), which are used to treat vast areas. For example, crews were charged with spraying areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, to prevent the spread of disease.The 757th Airlift Squadron operates out of the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Ohio.
Weather Reconnaissance
Download PDF Brochure Another mission unique to the Air Force Reserve and one of the better-known in the U.S. military is that of the Hurricane Hunters. Hurricane Hunter teams are comprised of pilots, scientists, technicians, maintenance personnel and other support roles. These members of the 403rd Wing of the Air Force Reserve - the largest flying organization at Keesler Air Force Base - fly WC-130J aircraft back and forth through tropical depressions, following the storms' paths and measuring intensity as they churn through the Atlantic or Pacific.
Amazingly, these aircraft not only fly directly into a hurricane - they cross back and forth through the storms, gathering and transmitting data for several hours. The Hurricane Hunters project the directions, intensity and time of landfall for a storm from its oceanic origins to its demise. Once a storm hits, tracking is turned over to the National Weather Service. By forecasting storm paths and predicting where and when landfall will be, the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters save thousands of lives and millions of dollars every year.
The Hurricane Hunters are based at Keesler Air Force Base near Biloxi, Mississippi.
Aeromedical Evacuation
Download PDF Brochure The Air Force Reserve provides approximately 65% of the total Air Force medical evacuation capability. By serving in the Air Force Reserve, health care professionals can continue their civilian careers and still serve their country.
The Air Force Reserve primarily deploys the C-130 Hercules and the C-17 Globemaster III to fulfill aeromedical evacuation missions in the United States and around the world, but virtually any cargo aircraft can be configured for these critical missions. Specially trained technicians set up the interior of the aircraft and operate the necessary medical equipment, while doctors and nurses turn these planes into flying intensive care units that can transport those injured in combat or in natural disasters to waiting hospitals.The Aeromedical Evacuation mission is conducted by members of the Air Force Reserve at the following bases:
    Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama (908th Airlift Wing)
    March Air Reserve Base, California (452nd Air Mobility Wing)
    Travis Air Force Base, California (349th Air Mobility Wing)
    Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia (94th Airlift Wing)
    Scott Air Force Base, Illinois (932nd Airlift Wing)
    Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts (439th Airlift Wing)
    Joint Base Andrews, Maryland (459th Air Refueling Wing)
    Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Air Reserve Station, Minnesota (934th Airlift Wing)
    Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey (514th Air Mobility Wing)
    Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, New York (914th Airlift Wing)
    Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio (445th Airlift Wing)
    Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania (911th Airlift Wing)
    Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina (315th Airlift Wing)
    Joint Base San Antonio, Texas (433rd Airlift Wing)
    Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (446th Airlift Wing)
    Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado (302 Airlift Wing)
    Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina (440 Airlift Wing)
    MacDill Air Force Base, Florida (927 Air Refueling Wing)
Aerial Port
Download PDF Brochure Aerial Porters account for and manage aircraft payloads, including every piece of cargo and any and all people onboard. Along with tending to passengers and assisting them in boarding and deplaning, they are charged with inspecting, weighting, packing, and re-weighting every item carried. The Aerial Porters then determine how the aircraft must be loaded. This exercise in weight and balance determines the center of gravity of an aircraft, which in turn determines if it can successfully take off. Aerial Porters work at every base with an Airlift mission.
Airlift
Download PDF Brochure The Air Force Reserve participates in two kinds of Airlift missions: Strategic Airlift and Theater Airlift (also known as Tactical Airlift). Strategic Airlifts involve carrying equipment and troops from a neutral area to an area of operations; the Reserve performs about 46 percent of such missions. Theater or Tactical Airlifts support the transport of equipment and troops within an area of operations; the Reserve performs 21 percent of those missions for the Air Force.
Roughly half of all the members of the Air Force Reserve are in some way involved in the Airlift Mission, moving people and equipment around the world. Aircraft utilized for this mission are the C-5 Galaxy, one of the largest aircraft on Earth, and the C-17 Globemaster, one of the most versatile. Most Tactical Airlift missions are performed by the venerable C-130 Hercules. The Airlift Mission is conducted by Air Force Reserve Wings at:
    Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama (908th Airlift Wing)
    March Air Reserve Base, California (452nd Air Mobility Wing)
    Travis Air Force Base, California (349th Air Mobility Wing)
    Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado (302nd Airlift Wing)
    Dover Air Force Base, Delaware (512th Airlift Wing)
    Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia (94th Airlift Wing)
    Scott Air Force Base, Illinois (932nd Airlift Wing)
    Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts (439th Airlift Wing)
    Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Air Reserve Station, Minnesota (934th Airlift Wing)
    Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi (403rd Wing)
    Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey (514th Air Mobility Wing)
    Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, New York (914th Airlift Wing)
    Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio (445th Airlift Wing)
    Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio (910th Airlift Wing)
    Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania (911th Airlift Wing)
    Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina (315th Airlift Wing)
    Joint Base San Antonio, Texas (433rd Airlift Wing)
    Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (446th Airlift Wing)
    Joint Base Andrews, Maryland (459 Airlift Wing)
    Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina (440 Airlift Wing)
Aerial Fire Fighting
Download PDF Brochure Wildfires are a seasonal burden, particularly to the western United States and throughout the national parks. If local volunteer and civilian resources cannot contain such fires, the Air Force Reserve may be called in to spray fire retardant or drop massive quantities of water on particular sites, often using Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS) installed in C-130 aircraft. The 731st Airlift Squadron, assigned to the 302nd Airlift Wing, primarily handles this mission, and is based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.
Personnel Recovery (Pararescuemen)
Download PDF Brochure Elite units of the Air Force Reserve, Pararescue units are comprised of a small group of men who are intensely trained to execute conventional and non-conventional rescues. Their primary mission: rescuing air crews downed behind enemy lines.

Para-jumpers - known as PJs - began the tradition of the Pararescuemen in 1943 when an aircrew was forced to bail out of a C-46 above the jungle along the China-Burma border. A few medical corpsmen spent months voluntarily parachuting into the desolate region to find and care for the crew until they were led to safety. Still known as the PJs, these men operate around the world, and live by the motto "That others may live."

Pararescue is one of the most exciting jobs in the Air Force Reserve. Outside of times of conflict, the PJs assist during natural disasters (such as Hurricane Katrina), and have contributed to rescues at sea, in deserts, and on mountains across the nation. They work with HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and the HC-130P/N tankers that refuel them in mid-air.

While Pararescuemen requirements are stringent, the most important attribute is ambition. Training, including a paramedic course, is long and intense, and can take the better part of two years. Pararescuemen typically live and work (many are paramedics and firefighters) in their local communities and serve as needed.

As part of the 920th Rescue Wing of the Air Force Reserve, the PJs primarily operate out of Patrick Air Force Base in Florida near the Kennedy Space Center (where they assist during every launch from Cape Canaveral) and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.
Tanker (Inflight Refueling)
Download PDF Brochure In-flight refueling maximizes the reach of the U.S. military. In this mission scenario, tankers - such as the KC-135 Stratotankers (cargo tankers) and KC-10 Extenders (advanced cargo tankers) - fly a pre-arranged, circling route in the sky. An aircraft approaches a tanker at a scheduled time, and the tanker's Boom Operator threads a fuel line into the waiting aircraft as both tanker and receiving plane are flying at hundreds of miles an hour.
A refueling option may be used by most military aircraft, from the giant C-5 Galaxy to the HH-60 Pave Hawk Helicopters. The number of aircraft that can be refueled per tanker depends on the size of the planes being serviced.
The Air Force Reserve operates refueling missions out of these bases:
    March Air Reserve Base, California (452nd Air Mobility Wing)
    Travis Air Force Base, California (349th Air Mobility Wing)
    Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana (434th Air Refueling Wing)
    Joint Base Andrews, Maryland (459th Air Refueling Wing)
    Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina (916th Air Refueling Wing)
    Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey (514th Air Mobility Wing)
    Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma (507th ARW & 513th ACG)
    MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa (927th ARW Air Refueling Wing)
Intel (Intelligence Support)
Download PDF Brochure The Intelligence Utilization Field encompasses a number of responsibilities:
  • Formulating programs, policy planning, and command or direction of activities involved in comparing United States and foreign overall air potential
  • Intelligence operations and application activities to prevent strategic, tactical or technological surprise, and to participate in planning or conducting aerospace operations
  • Responsibility for mapping, charting, and geodetic policy, objectives, requirements, guidance and oversight as they apply to planning and programming support for military operations
To accomplish these functions, intelligence personnel are tasked with the following:
  • Directing, planning, managing and conducting activities to collect, analyze, exploit, produce and disseminate intelligence information, including human, signal, imagery, and measurement and signature intelligence
  • Assessing industrial, technological, geographical and sociological factors
  • Using processed intelligence information to support military operations
  • Preparing intelligence assessments
  • Providing input to national, Department of Defense (DoD) and Air Force plans and programs
  • Providing support to air operations, special missions, and weapon system acquisition, and to force structure planning and international security assistance plans and programs
  • Performing special security officer functions
  • Providing security guidance and functions for Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) programs and activities
  • Using and managing intelligence data handling systems
  • Exchanging information and intelligence with other services, agencies and governments.
For intel operations, flight crews are briefed on the nature of the area into which they are flying based on landmark descriptions. With this foreknowledge, personnel can assist in identifying objectives related to the safety of the airspace as well as possible obstacles that may be encountered.
Intelligence support exists at every base.
Pilot Training
Download PDF Brochure The Air Force Reserve is specifically involved with training pilots for the Reserve and the Active Duty Air Force.

Trainer pilots, who must have an FAA license, prepare the training missions and monitor studentsí progress from pre-flight checks and understanding weather briefings, to flying the aircraft and operating weapons systems.

Training is the hallmark of the Air Force Reserve, and it takes place continually at all bases.
Security Forces
Download PDF Brochure Security Forces support exists at every base. These Reservists are responsible for "force protection" - they secure the perimeter of the base and act against any threat attempting to enter the base. The Security Forces share some similarities with civilian police forces, including duties such as writing parking tickets and investigating crimes. There are more than 45 security-force organizations in the United States. They also have been deployed to protect bases in areas of operation.
Security Forces support exists at every base.
Air Operations Center
Download PDF Brochure Multiple sources contribute information to the Department of Defense. Data must be sorted and evaluated, and then formulated into action plans via systems that enable commanders to manage massive amounts of data. Those systems are the Theater Battle Management Control System and the Falconer Air and Space Operations Center (AOC).
The AOC is the senior element of the Theater Air Control System that provides the Combined Forces Air Component Commander with the capability to direct and supervise the combat operations of assigned and attached forces and to monitor the actions of both enemy and friendly forces. The AOC develops strategy and planning documents, monitors the execution of all air, space and information operations and provides combat assessment in support of the Combatant Commander's guidance and objectives.
The Air Force Reserve 710th Combat Operations Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, the 701st Combat Operations Squadron at March Air Reserve Base, California, and the 713th Combat Operations Squadron at Beale AFB, CA are involved in this task.
Space
Download PDF Brochure Working with Air Force Space Command based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, reservists in the 310th Space Wing use printouts of orbital parameters to assist in constructing command format and mission objectives. Space Command also transmits and verifies commands using aerospace ground equipment, receives, analyzes, processes, stores and relays data received from spacecraft/ground systems, and advises supervisors of operational problems. The 310th Space Wing is located at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado.
Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS)
Download PDF Brochure AWACS is a 24/7 flying command center that captures all the action over a prescribed air space and reports the data in real time to the Joint Air Operations Center. These airborne command posts control everything military in the sky and are constantly searching for unidentified aircraft or missiles. They can coordinate information about weather, air traffic, unidentified aircraft, and more.
The E-3 Sentry and C2BM form the AWACS. The E-3 Sentry is a highly modified Boeing 707 easily identified by the large, top-mounted, disc-like dome mounted near its fuselage - the C2BM. Thirty feet in diameter and about six feet thick, the dome houses the radar system which the crew uses to conduct surveillance from the stratosphere to the surface of the Earth over a range of 250 miles. These "systems" can fly for eight hours at a time, or longer with in-air refueling.
The Air Force Reserve's 513th Air Control Group operates out of Tinker Air Force Base near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Special Operations Forces
Download PDF Brochure The 919th Special Operations Wing, located at Eglin Air Force Base Field 3 (Duke Field), FL, is the only special operations wing in the Air Force Reserve. In a classic association with the Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center (AFSOAWC), the 919th provides operations and maintenance personnel to support the aviation foreign internal defense and combat aviation advisor programs for the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) through the use of the C-145A aircraft.

The wing also conducts U-28 and C-145A formal training unit flight instruction, through this association, and employs the MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial system in a geographically separated classic association with the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon AFB, NM.

The wing provides personnel to support AFSOC taskings and AFRC Air Expeditionary Force taskings relating to security forces, civil engineering, communications, logistics, supply, transportation, services and personnel functions.
Bomber
Download PDF Brochure The B-52 Stratofortress has been in the U.S. Air Force inventory since the 1950s, a massive bomber that has undergone numerous upgrades and weapons capability improvements since its inception. The skill and experience level of Air Force Reservists keeps this high-altitude, long-distance bomber an operational and highly effective weapon that is still in use today in the War on Terrorism, capable of dropping massive bomb payloads in a single run and surveying large areas. The Air Force Reserve aerial precision bombing mission operates at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
Unmanned Aerial Surveillance/Interdiction
Download PDF Brochure The Air Force Reserve Command plays a daily role in the support of various Unmanned Aerial Surveillance/Interdiction vehicles including the RQ-4 Global Hawk, a UAV designed for long-range, high-altitude surveillance missions. Reserve units also operate and support the more commonly known MQ-1 Predator, a lightweight, small, unmanned aircraft that provides interdiction as well as surveillance capabilities. The Predator routinely surveys the area ahead of ground troops in Iraq for Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and then explodes these devices or alerts the troops to their presence.
In addition to the Predator, the Air Force Reserve is also playing an integral role in the deployment of the newest UAV, the MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Primarily intended to destroy targets, the Reaper is much heavier and larger than the Predator and can fly at high altitudes. This aircraft has a sophisticated sensor package to gather information and identify targets.
RQ-4 missions derive from Beale Air Force Base in California. The MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper are both in inventory at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada.
Fighters
Download PDF Brochure The F-22 Raptor, the most sophisticated jet fighter in the military, is part of the Air Force Reserve mission at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. The Reserve operates the F-16 Fighting Falcon out of Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida, the NAS Ft. Worth Joint Reserve Base in Texas, and Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. The versatile A-10 Thunderbolt operates at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, and Whiteman Air Force base in Missouri.

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