The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. The RAF has taken a significant role in British military history, playing a large part in the Second World War as well as in more recent conflicts.
The Royal Air Force is one of the most capable and technologically sophisticated air forces in the world; as such it maintains a large and diverse operational fleet. As of January 2012, it had a reported strength of 827 aircraft, making it the largest air force in the European Union, and the second largest in terms of aircraft in NATO (after the USAF). Most of the RAF's aircraft and personnel are based in the UK, with many others serving on operations (principally Afghanistan and the Middle East) or at long-established overseas bases (Ascension Island, Cyprus, Gibraltar, and the Falkland Islands). Although the RAF is the principal British air power arm, the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and the British Army's Army Air Corps also deliver air power which is integrated into the maritime, littoral and land environments.
The RAF's mission is to support the objectives of the British Ministry of Defence (MoD), which are to "provide the capabilities needed: to ensure the security and defence of the United Kingdom and overseas territories, including against terrorism; to support the Government’s foreign policy objectives particularly in promoting international peace and security."
The RAF's mission statement is "... An agile, adaptable and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, and that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission."}} The mission statement is supported by the RAF's definition of air power, which guides its strategy. Air power is defined as: "The ability to project power from the air and space to influence the behaviour of people or the course of events."
... Forfar and Kincardine Artillery (Militia) 9 September 1893, 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Scots Fusiliers 12 August 1896, Lieutenant, Royal Scots Fusiliers ...
... Royal Air Force Station (Kai Tak Airport), Headquarters Building No ... Royal Air Force Station (Kai Tak), Officers' Quarters Compound RAF Officers' Mess No ... Royal Air Force Station (Kai Tak), Officers' Quarters Compound Annex Block No ...
... decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of armed forces of some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories ... However the dark blue ribbon was abolished soon after the formation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918 ... There have been a total of 26 recipients of the VC who were serving in the Royal Air Force, including the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, at the time of their valiant deed or deeds ...
... Military of Bermuda USN Naval Operating Base/Naval Air Station/NAS Annex, Morgans Point, 1941-1995 USAAF, Kindley Field 1941-1948/USAF Kindley AFB, 1948-1970 Naval Air Station ...
... engine fails during the type's first take-off due to an air lock in the fuel feed ... Stotsenburg, established in the Philippines in 1902, is renamed Clark Air Base with the establishment of the U.S ... Air Force in 1947 ...
Famous quotes containing the words force, royal and/or air:
“The method of authority will always govern the mass of mankind; and those who wield the various forms of organized force in the state will never be convinced that dangerous reasoning ought not to be suppressed in some way.”
—Charles Sanders Peirce (18391914)
“The Royal Navy of England hath ever been its greatest defence and ornament; it is its ancient and natural strength; the floating bulwark of the island.”
—William Blackstone (17231780)
“Make me a willow cabin at your gate,
And call upon my soul within the house;
Write loyal cantons of contemned love,
And sing them loud even in the dead of night;
Halloo your name to the reverberate hills,
And make the babbling gossip of the air
Cry out Olivia! O, you should not rest
Between the elements of air and earth
But you should pity me.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)