Today, Sept. 18, 2012, marks the 65th birthday of the United States Air Force. The milestone was commemorated by more than a dozen veteran aviators and officers at an early-morning flag-raising ceremony at The Fairfax, a military retirement community just outside Fort Belvoir.
The U.S. Air Force was originally part of the Army Air Corps, which was formed during the first World War. The Air Force resulted from the National Security Act of 1947, which also reorganized the country's intelligence service and formed the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
There are now more than 300,000 active-duty Air Force personnel, and the service is regarded as the most highly advanced aerial fighting force on earth.