9th Air Force Patch – Hook and Loop
A 3.5″ patch 9th Air Force Patch – Hook and Loop
Ninth Air Force (United States Air Forces Central Command) (9 AF/USAFCENT) is a Numbered Air Force of the United States Air Force headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. It is the Air Force Service Component of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), a joint Department of Defense combatant command responsible for U.S. security interests in 27 nations that stretch from the Horn of Africa through the Persian Gulf region, into Central Asia.
Activated as 9th Air Force on 8 April 1942, the command fought in World War II both in the Western Desert Campaign in Egypt and Libya and as the tactical fighter component of the United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSTAF), engaging enemy forces in France, the Low Countries and in Nazi Germany. During the Cold War, it was one of two Numbered Air Forces of Tactical Air Command.
Co-designated as United States Central Command Air Forces (CENTAF) on 1 January 1983, on 2009 as part of a complicated transfer of lineage, the lineage and history of the Ninth Air Force was bestowed on USAFCENT, and a new Ninth Air Force, which technically had no previous history, was activated. On 20 August 2020, the 9 AF designation was returned to USAFCENT with the deactivation of the 2009 established 9 AF. It has fought in the 1991 Gulf War, War in Afghanistan (OEF-A, 2001–present), the Iraq War (OIF, 2003–2010), as well as various engagements within USCENTCOM.
United States Air Forces Central is the direct descendant organization of Ninth Air Force, established in 1941. AFCENT was formed as the United States Central Command Air Forces (CENTAF) under Tactical Air Command (TAC). CENTAF initially consisted of designated United States Air Force elements of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF) which was inactivated and reformed as USCENTCOM in 1983.
On 1 March 2008 USCENTAF was redesignated USAFCENT. It shared its commander with Ninth Air Force until August 2009. Ninth Air Force was formally re-designated USAFCENT on 5 August 2009. A new Ninth Air Force was established that date for command and control of CONUS-based Air Combat Command units formerly assigned to the previous Ninth Air Force.