An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or other branch. Typically, air forces are responsible for gaining control of the air, carrying out strategic and tactical bombing missions and providing support to surface forces.
The term "air force" may also refer to a tactical air force or numbered air force, which is an operational formation either within a national air force or comprising several air components from allied nations. Air forces typically consist of a combination of fighters, bombers, helicopters, transport planes and other aircraft.
Many air forces are also responsible for operations of military space, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), and communications equipment. Some air forces may command and control other air defence assets such as antiaircraft artillery, surface-to-air missiles, or anti-ballistic missile warning networks and defensive systems. Some nations, principally Russia, the former Soviet Union and countries who modelled their militaries along Soviet lines, have an Air Defence Force which is organizationally separate from their air force.
In addition to pilots, air forces have ground support staff who support the aircrew. In a similar manner to civilian airlines, there are supporting ground crew as pilots cannot fly without the assistance of other personnel such as engineers, loadmasters, fuel technicians and mechanics. However, some supporting personnel such as airfield defence troops, weapons engineers and air intelligence staff do not have equivalent roles in civilian organizations.
Other articles related to "air force, air":
... Consequently, the Fifth Air Force modified its command structure only to meet immediate needs ... When the time came to move tactical air units to Korean airfields, Fifth Air Force did not deploy its permanent wings because they were heavily committed to the air defense of Japan ... Instead, it utilized temporary air base squadrons and air base units to support tactical units in Korea ...
... The Israeli Air Force (IAF Hebrew זרוע האוויר והחלל, Zroa HaAvir VeHahalal, "Air and Space Arm", commonly known as חיל האוויר, Kheil HaAvir, "Air Corps ...
... has 13 squadrons, four flights and 2200 Air Force Reservists and civilians supporting McChord Field's global C-17 Globemaster Ill missions - airlift, airdrop and aeromedical evacuation ... Western Air Defense Sector The Western Air Defense Sector (WADS), with headquarters at McChord, is the largest of the United States Air Defense sectors responsible ... WADS is a Washington Air National Guard unit that reports directly to AFNORTH/1st Air Force at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida ...
... China Chinese Nationalist Air Force 24 aircraft Finland Finnish Air Force 11 aircraft of the type DB-3M and 4 aircraft of the type DB-3F (Il-4 ...
... Air Force has 68 HH-60Gs in the Active Air Force, 15 in the Air Force Reserve, and 18 in the Air National Guard ...
Famous quotes containing the words force and/or air:
“The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and mangled mind leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.”
—Elizabeth Drew (18871965)
“The thundering line of battle stands,
And in the air Death moans and sings:
But Day shall clasp him with strong hands,
And Night shall fold him in soft wings.”
—Julian Grenfell (18881915)