The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA, the Air Force Academy, or the Academy) is a military academy for officer cadets of the United States Air Force and United States Space Force immediately north of Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is the youngest of the five U.S. service academies, having graduated its first class 61 years ago in 1959, but is the third in seniority. Graduates of the academy's four-year program receive a Bachelor of Science degree and are commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force or U.S. Space Force. The academy is also one of the largest tourist attractions in Colorado, attracting approximately a million visitors each year.
Admission is extremely competitive, with nominations divided equally among Congressional districts. Recent incoming classes have had about 1,200 cadets; since 2012, around 20% of each incoming class does not graduate. During their tenure at the Academy, cadets receive tuition, room and board, and a monthly stipend all paid for by the Air Force. On the first day of a cadet's second class year, cadets commit to serving a number of years as a commissioned officer in the Air Force or Space Force. Non-graduates after that point are expected to fulfill their obligations in enlisted service or pay back full tuition. The commitment is normally five years of active duty and three years in the reserves, although it has varied depending on the graduate's Air Force Specialty Code.
The program at the academy is guided by the Air Force's core values of "Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do", and based on four "pillars of excellence": military training, academics, athletics and character development. In addition to a rigorous military training regimen, cadets also take a broad academic course load with an extensive core curriculum in engineering, humanities, social sciences, basic sciences, military studies and physical education. All cadets participate in either intercollegiate or intramural athletics, and a thorough character development and leadership curriculum provides cadets a basis for future officership. Each of the components of the program is intended to give cadets the skills and knowledge that they will need for success as officers.
Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station (CMAFS) is located on Cheyenne Mountain on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in unincorporated El Paso County, Colorado, USA, next to Colorado Springs, The Cheyenne Mountain Complex, an underground facility on Cheyenne Mountain AFS, was first built for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Combat Operations Center, though NORAD moved day-to-day operations to its headquarters on Peterson AFB in 2006. However, day-to-day operations were moved back in 2011 after a major overhaul and renovation. The location now supports U.S. Strategic Command's Missile Warning Center, other strategic warning and survivable capabilities, and provides a ready alternative operating location for NORAD's command center.
The 137,000-acre (214 sq mi; 555 sq km; 55,000 ha) installation extends southward into Pueblo and Fremont counties. That part of the installation located within El Paso County forms a census-designated place (CDP) which had a population of 13,815 in the 2010 census.
Fort Carson is the home of the 4th Infantry Division, the 10th Special Forces Group, the 4th Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB), the 440th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR), the 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), the 4th Engineer Battalion, the 759th Military Police Battalion, the 10th Combat Support Hospital, the 43rd Sustainment Brigade, the Army Field Support Battalion-Fort Carson, the 423rd Transportation Company (USAR) and the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron of the United States Air Force. The post also hosts units of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve and the Colorado Army National Guard. Ft. Carson was also home to the 5th Infantry Div. Known as the Red Devils.
Peterson Air Force Base is a U.S. Air Force Base that shares an airfield with the adjacent Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, home to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the Space Force's 21st Space Wing, elements of the Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) headquarters. Developed as a World War II air support base for Camp Carson, the facility conducted Army Air Forces training and supported Cold War air defense centers at the nearby Ent Air Force Base, Chidlaw Building, and Cheyenne Mountain Complex. The base was the location of the Air Force Space Command headquarters from 1987 to December 20th, 2019 and has had NORAD/NORTHCOM command center operations since the 2006 Cheyenne Mountain Realignment placed the nearby Cheyenne Mountain Complex centers on standby.
With the recent creation of the U.S Space Force, Peterson AFB and other Air Force installations that do primarily space work, are planned to be renamed to Space Force bases; effectively becoming Peterson Space Force Base.
Groundbreaking for what would become Schriever Air Force Base took place in May 1983. It was originally called the Consolidated Space Operations Center (CSOC) during the development phase, and was renamed Falcon Air Force Station upon becoming operational. In July 1985, the 2nd Space Wing was activated at Peterson AFB and in September 1985, the organization relocated to Falcon Air Force Station (now Schriever Air Force Base), and 230 Air Force members, civilian employees, and contractors moved into its 12 new buildings. This wing took operational control of the Air Force Satellite Control Network in a phased system turn over that began in October 1987 and lasted several years.
In June 1988, Falcon Air Force Station was redesignated Falcon Air Force Base. On 30 January 1992 the 2nd Space Wing inactivated and the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, redesignated as the 50th Space Wing, activated at Falcon AFB.
General Bernard A Schriever after which the base is named.
On 5 June 1998, Falcon Air Force Base was renamed Schriever Air Force Base in honor of the retired General Bernard Adolph Schriever, who pioneered in the development of the American ballistic missile programs. Schriever AFB is the only Air Force base that was named for an Air Force veteran who was living at the time. General Schriever died June 20, 2005.
All info taken from Wikipedia, June 2020