Military aircraft began to deploy to Alaska during the last half of 1940. To coordinate air activities there, the Alaskan Defense Command established the Air Field Forces, Alaskan Defense Command, on May 29, 1941. Under authority from Western Defense Command, the Alaskan Defense Command replaced the Air Field Forces, Alaskan Defense Command, with the Air Force, Alaskan Defense Command, on October 17, 1941. Neither the Air Field Forces nor the Air Force, Alaskan Defense Command, were legitimate War Department establishments and must be classified in the same category as provisional units, although the term "provisional" was never used in connection with them. The War Department activated the Alaskan Air Force on January 15, 1942, replacing the Air Force, Alaskan Defense Command.
Established as Alaskan Air Force on December 28, 1941. Activated at Elmendorf Airfield, Alaska, on January 15, 1942. Redesignated 11th Air Force on February 5, 1942, and Eleventh Air Force on September 18, 1942. Moved to Adak, Alaska, in August 1943. Redesignated Alaskan Air Command and assumed major command status, on December 18, 1945. Moved to Elmendorf Field (later, AFB), Alaska, effective October 1, 1946. Redesignated Eleventh Air Force on August 9, 1990 and, concurrently, status changed from a major command of the United States Air Force to a subordinate organization of Pacific Air Forces.
*Not to be confused with the other "Eleventh" Air Force established on May 13, 1946. Activated on June 13, 1946 at Olmsted Field, Pennsylvania, and assigned to Air Defense Command. Inactivated on July 1, 1948.