(Senate - December 18, 2007)

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[Pages S15924-S15925]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. NELSON of Nebraska (for himself, Mr. Bingaman, Mr. Brownback, Ms. 
Collins, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Domenici, Mr. Dorgan, Mr. Enzi, Mr. Graham, 
Mrs. Lincoln, Mr. Salazar, Mr. Tester, Mr. roberts, and Mr. Allard) 
submitted the following resolution; which was:

                              S. Res. 416

       Whereas President Harry S Truman signed the National 
     Security Act of 1947 on July 26, 1947, to realign and 
     reorganize the Armed Forces and to create a separate 
     Department of the Air Force from the existing military 
       Whereas the National Security Act of 1947 was enacted on 
     September 18, 1947;
       Whereas the Aeronautical Division of the United States Army 
     Signal Corps, consisting of one officer and two enlisted men, 
     began operation under the command of Captain Charles DeForest 
     Chandler on August 1, 1907, with the responsibility for ``all 
     matters pertaining to military ballooning, air machines, and 
     all kindred subjects'';
       Whereas in 1908, the Department of War contracted with the 
     Wright brothers to build one heavier-than-air flying machine 
     for the United States Army, and accepted the Wright Military 
     Flyer, the world's first military airplane, in 1909;
       Whereas United States pilots, flying with both allied air 
     forces and with the Army Air Service, performed admirably in 
     the course of World War I, participating in pursuit, 
     observation, and day and night bombing missions;
       Whereas pioneering aviators of the United States, including 
     Mason M. Patrick, William ``Billy'' Mitchell, Benjamin D. 
     Foulois, Frank M. Andrews, Henry ``Hap'' Arnold, James 
     ``Jimmy'' H. Doolittle, and Edward ``Eddie'' Rickenbacker, 
     were among the first to recognize the military potential of 
     air power and courageously forged the foundations for the 
     creation of an independent arm for air forces in the United 
     States in the decades following World War I;
       Whereas on June 20, 1941, the Department of War created the 
     Army Air Forces (AAF) as its aviation element and shortly 
     thereafter the Department of War made the AAF co-equal to the 
     Army Ground Forces;
       Whereas General Henry H. ``Hap'' Arnold drew upon the 
     industrial prowess and human resources of the United States 
     to transform the Army Air Corps from a force of 22,400 men 
     and 2,402 aircraft in 1939 to a peak wartime strength of 2.4 
     million personnel and 79,908 aircraft;
       Whereas the standard for courage, flexibility, and 
     intrepidity in combat was established for all Airmen during 
     the first aerial raid in the Pacific Theater on April 18, 
     1942, when Lieutenant Colonel James ``Jimmy'' H. Doolittle 
     led 16 North American B-25 Mitchell bombers in a joint 
     operation from the deck of the naval carrier USS Hornet to 
     strike the Japanese mainland in response to the Japanese 
     attack on Pearl Harbor;
       Whereas President Harry S Truman supported organizing air 
     power as an equal arm of the military forces of the United 
     States, writing on December 19, 1945, that air power had 
     developed so that the responsibilities and contributions to 
     military strategic planning of air power equaled those of 
     land and sea power;
       Whereas on September 18, 1947, W. Stuart Symington became 
     the first Secretary of the newly formed and independent 
     United States Air Force (USAF), and on September 26, 1947, 
     General Carl A. Spaatz became the first Chief of Staff of the 
       Whereas the Air National Guard was also created by the 
     National Security Act of 1947 and has played a vital role in 
     guarding the United States and defending freedom in nearly 
     every major conflict and contingency since its inception;
       Whereas on October 14, 1947, the USAF demonstrated its 
     historic and ongoing commitment to technological innovation 
     when Captain Charles ``Chuck'' Yeager piloted the X-1 
     developmental rocket plane to a speed of Mach 1.07, becoming 
     the first flyer to break the sound barrier in a powered 
     aircraft in level flight;
       Whereas the USAF Reserve, created April 14, 1948, is 
     comprised of Citizen Airmen who serve as unrivaled wingmen of 
     the active duty USAF in every deployment, mission, and 
     battlefield around the globe;
       Whereas the USAF operated the Berlin Airlift in 1948 and 
     1949 to provide humanitarian relief to post-war Germany and 
     has established a tradition of humanitarian assistance in 
     responding to natural disasters and needs across the world;
       Whereas the USAF announced a policy of racial integration 
     in the ranks of the USAF on April 26, 1948, 3 months prior to 
     a Presidential mandate to integrate all military services;
       Whereas in the early years of the Cold War, the USAF's 
     arsenal of bombers, such as the long-range Convair B-58 
     Hustler and B-36 Peacemaker, and the Boeing B-47 Stratojet 
     and B-52 Stratofortress, under the command of General Curtis 
     LeMay served as the United States' preeminent deterrent 
     against Soviet Union forces and were later augmented by the 
     development and deployment of medium range and 
     intercontinental ballistic missiles, such as the Titan and 
     Minuteman developed by General Bernard A. Schriever;
       Whereas the USAF, employing the first large-scale combat 
     use of jet aircraft, helped to establish air superiority over 
     the Korean peninsula, protected ground forces of the United 
     Nations with close air support, and interdicted enemy 
     reinforcements and supplies during the conflict in Korea;
       Whereas after the development of launch vehicles and 
     orbital satellites, the mission of the USAF expanded into 
     space and today provides exceptional real-time global 
     communications, environmental monitoring, navigation, 
     precision timing, missile warning, nuclear deterrence, and 
     space surveillance;
       Whereas USAF Airmen have contributed to the manned space 
     program of the United States since the program's inception 
     and throughout the program's development at the National 
     Aeronautics and Space Administration by dedicating themselves 
     wholly to space exploration despite the risks of exploration;
       Whereas the USAF engaged in a limited campaign of air power 
     to assist the South Vietnamese government in countering the 
     communist Viet Cong guerillas during the Vietnam War and 
     fought to disrupt supply lines, halt enemy ground offensives, 
     and protect United States and Allied forces;
       Whereas Airmen were imprisoned and tortured during the 
     Vietnam War and, in the valiant tradition of Airmen held 
     captive in previous conflicts, continued serving the United 
     States with honor and dignity under the most inhumane 
       Whereas, in recent decades, the USAF and coalition partners 
     of the United States have supported successful actions in 
     Panama, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and 
     many other locations around the globe;
       Whereas Pacific Air Forces, along with Asia-Pacific 
     partners of the United States, ensure peace and advance 
     freedom from the west coast of the United States to the east 
     coast of Africa and from the Arctic to the Antarctic, 
     covering more than 100 million square miles and the homes of 
     2 billion people in 44 countries;
       Whereas the United States Air Forces in Europe, along with 
     European partners of the

[[Page S15925]]

     United States, have shaped the history of Europe from World 
     War II, the Cold War, Operation Deliberate Force, and 
     Operation Allied Force to today's operations, and secured 
     stability and ensured freedom's future in the Europe, Africa, 
     and Southwest Asia;
       Whereas, for 17 consecutive years beginning with 1990, 
     Airmen have been engaged in full-time combat operations 
     ranging from Desert Shield to Iraqi Freedom, and have shown 
     themselves to be an expeditionary air and space force of 
     outstanding capability ready to fight and win wars of the 
     United States when and where Airmen are called upon to do so;
       Whereas the USAF is steadfast in its commitment to field a 
     world-class, expeditionary air force by recruiting, training, 
     and educating its Total Force of active duty, Air National 
     Guard, Air Force Reserve, and civilian personnel;
       Whereas the USAF is a steward of resources, developing and 
     applying technology, managing acquisition programs, and 
     maintaining test, evaluation, and sustainment criteria for 
     all USAF weapon systems throughout such weapon systems' life 
       Whereas, when terrorists attacked the United States on 
     September 11, 2001, USAF fighter and air refueling aircraft 
     took to the skies to fly combat air patrols over major United 
     States cities and protect families, friends, and neighbors of 
     people of the United States from further attack;
       Whereas, on December 7, 2005, the USAF modified its mission 
     statement to include flying and fighting in cyberspace and 
     prioritized the development, maintenance, and sustainment of 
     war fighting capabilities to deliver unrestricted access to 
     cyberspace and defend the United States and its global 
       Whereas Airmen around the world are committed to fighting 
     and winning the Global War on Terror and have flown more than 
     430,000 sorties to precisely target and engage insurgents who 
     attempt to violently disrupt rebuilding in Iraq and 
       Whereas talented and dedicated Airmen will meet the future 
     challenges of an ever-changing world with strength and 
       Whereas the USAF, together with its joint partners, will 
     continue to be the United States' leading edge in the ongoing 
     fight to ensure the safety and security of the United States; 
       Whereas during the past 60 years, the USAF has repeatedly 
     proved its value to the Nation, fulfilling its critical role 
     in national defense, and protecting peace, liberty, and 
     freedom throughout the world: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved by the Senate, That the Senate remembers, honors, 
     and commends the achievements of the United States Air Force 
     in serving and defending the United States on the 60th 
     anniversary of the creation of the United States Air Force as 
     an independent military service.