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Total military personnel of the U.S. Air Force, by rank FY 2019-2021

This graph shows the total military personnel of the U.S. Air Force for the fiscal years 2019 and estimated personnel for 2020 and 2021, by rank. In the fiscal year 2021, there will be 14 Generals serving in the Air Force.

U.S. Air Force

The U.S. Air Force is a service branch of the United States Armed Forces that specializes in aerial warfare. It was formed in September 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947 and is one of the newest branches of the country’s military.

The Air Force’s most common fighter is the F-16C Fighting Falcon, with 787 planes in the 2017 inventory. This plane was developed by General Dynamics specifically for the U.S. Air Force. Since its first flight in January 1974, the fighter has developed into an all-weather multirole vehicle.

The United States is the highest military spender in the world by a significant margin, expending 649 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. The U.S. Air Force's budget amounted to 163 billion U.S. dollars in that year.

Total military personnel of the U.S. Air Force for the fiscal years 2019 to 2021, by rank

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Release date

February 2020


United States

Survey time period

FY 2019 to FY 2021

Special properties

Year-end count

Supplementary notes

* Represents estimates.
The fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30 each year.
USAFA cadet strength limitation of 4,000 is measured according to Title 10 U.S.C., Section 9342 on the last day of the academic year (the day before graduation) not the end of the fiscal year.

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Statistics on "Armed Forces of the United States"

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