Air Force bands support the global Air Force mission by organizing, training and deploying professional musicians. The bands provide the power of music to inspire immediate, positive and long-lasting impressions of the U.S. Air Force and the United States in the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide.
Air Force bands provide an essential element in maintaining troop morale and esprit de corps of Airmen around the world, including forward deployed locations. Additionally, they inspire patriotism and encourage young men and women to serve in the Air Force or other branches of the military.
Using music to bridge language, cultural, societal and socio-economic differences, the bands play a key role in increasing public understanding of the importance of airpower, the mission, policies and programs of the Air Force, and the bravery, sacrifice and dedication of Airmen. In addition, bands advance relationships with national and international audiences to enhance the reputation of the Air Force as a professional organization charged with the responsibility for national security. In public concerts, parades and ceremonies, Air Force bands celebrate the rich history and legacy of the Air Force.
Air Force bands are classified as premier and regional bands. The United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., and the United States Air Force Academy Band at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, are the premier bands. The regional bands are found at seven locations in the continental United States and operate from three locations overseas: Germany, Japan and Hawaii. In addition, there are five Air National Guard bands at various locations throughout the United States.
Air Force bands are organized so that they may be subdivided into several smaller musical units capable of performing autonomously and simultaneously. The number, size and musical capabilities of these groups depend on the overall size of the band and local or regional needs.
Examples of performing units that support the band mission:
•Concert Band — Performs concert, patriotic and popular entertainment music at high school, college, university and civic concerts.
•Marching or Ceremonial Band — Performs military marching and patriotic music at civic and military ceremonies or parades.
•Jazz Band — Performs all varieties of jazz music in high schools, colleges, civic concerts and festivals.
•Popular Music Ensemble — Performs a variety of popular music to include Rock, Top 40, R&B, Country and "Oldies" for recruiting, community concerts and authorized official functions.
•Chamber Ensemble — Performs a variety of music using different instrumentation in concert settings for both military and civilian audiences.
•Protocol Combo — Performs background, dinner and dance music for official military social functions.
•Individual Musicians — Buglers for funerals, solo vocalists, pianists or other instrumentalists may perform for official functions or ceremonies.
Bands have grown from a very humble beginning to worldwide status. The 14 members of the first known "air force" band set foot on French soil in September 1917, carrying instruments purchased with money from their lieutenant's personal funds. The commander of the 36th Aeronautics Squadron, to which they were assigned, was so impressed with his musicians that he petitioned the American Red Cross in Paris to help find more instruments, and increased the band's size.
Bands have come a long way since then. Throughout World War II, the bands of the Army Air Corps contributed significantly in supporting the morale of our troops. When the Air Force became a separate service in 1947, Air Corps bands also transferred to the young Air Force. Since then, bands have continued to inspire esprit de corps in our Airmen, patriotism in our citizenry, and admiration and respect from people of all nations.
With a legacy rooted in our American heritage, Air Force bands are attuned to the most current requirements and technology of the 21st century.
For additional information on Air Force bands, please visit our website: http://www.music.af.mil
Air Force Bands and Areas of Responsibility
The United States Air Force Band
201 McChord Street
Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, DC 20032-0202
AOR: National Capital Region and continental U.S. on a rotational basis
The United States Air Force Academy Band
520 Otis Street
Peterson Air Force Base, CO 80914-1620
AOR: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Continental US on a rotational schedule
United States Air Force Band of the West
2220 Carswell Avenue
Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas 78236-5500
AOR: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas
United States Air Force Heritage of America Band
86 Hickory Street
Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA 23665-2192
AOR: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia
United States Air Force Heartland of America Band
109 Washington Square, Suite 111
Offutt Air Force Base, NE 68113-2126
United States Air Force Band of Mid-America
900 Chapman Drive
Scott Air Force Base, IL 62225-5115
AOR: Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin
United States Air Force Band of the Golden West
551 Waldron Street
Travis Air Force Base, CA 94535-5000
AOR: Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington
United States Air Force Band of Flight
3920 Lear Street, Building 1420
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 45433-5721
The United States Air Forces in Europe Band
APO AE 09094-3150
AOR: Europe, Africa
United States Air Force Band of the Pacific
APO AP 96328-5000
AOR: Japan, Pacific theater
United States Air Force Band of the Pacific-Hawaii*
1225 Vickers Avenue
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, 96853-5399
AOR: Alaska, Hawaii, Pacific theater
*Named activity of the United States Air Force Band of the Pacific at a geographically separated location.
(Current as of December 2019)