The United States armed forces are the overall unified military forces of the United States. The U.S. military is considered the most well equipped and powerful military in the history of the world.
Its component branches are:
United States Army
United States Marine Corps
United States Navy
United States Air Force
United States Coast Guard
All are part of the United States Uniformed Services and are under civilian control with the President serving as Commander-in-Chief. All branches except the Coast Guard are part of the Department of Defense, which is under the authority of the Secretary of Defense, who is also a civilian. The Coast Guard falls under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. During wartime, the Coast Guard may be placed under the Department of Defense through the Department of the Navy in times of need acting as a service to the Navy.
As of April 2007, about 1,426,700 people are on active duty in the military with an additional 1,458,500 people in the seven reserve components.As it is currently a volunteer military, there is no conscription. Women are not allowed to serve in some combat assignments, but they are allowed to serve in most non-combat specialties. Due to the realities of war some of these non-combat positions see combat regularly.
Much of U.S. military capability is involved in logistics and transportation, which enable rapid buildup of forces as needed. The Air Force maintains a large fleet of C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster, and C-130 Hercules transportation aircraft with an equally large fleet of aerial refueling tankers. The Marine Corps maintains Marine Expeditionary Units at sea with the Navy’s Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. The Navy’s 11 active aircraft carriers, combined with a military doctrine of power projection, enables a flexible response to potential threats.
The Lookout Mountain Air Force Station located on Wonderland Avenue, Los Angeles, California, provided in-service production of classified motion picture and still photographs to the U.S. Department of Defense and the Atomic Energy Commission from 1947-1969.
The 100,000-square-foot (10,000 m²) facility is built on 2 acres of land and was originally built in 1941 as a World War II air defense center to coordinate radar installations. The studio was established in 1947 and its purpose kept secret. The studio consisted of a complete stage, 2 screening rooms, a helicopter landing pad, a bomb shelter and 17 climate controlled film vaults as well as, two underground parking garages. With the latest equipment the studio could process both 35 mm and 16 mm motion pictures as well as optical prints and still photographs. The nuclear tests later filmed at Nevada test site Mercury were filmed in CinemaScope, stereophonic sound, VistaVision and 3-D photography.
The studio contained staff from many prominent studios alongside its military staff. Civilian personnel from Warner Brothers, Metro-Goldwyn Mayer and RKO Pictures worked at the studio in functions such as producers, cameramen and directors