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."
... 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 ... 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 ...
... 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 ...
... 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 Bermuda ...
... and Kincardine Artillery (Militia) 9 September 1893, 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Scots Fusiliers 12 August 1896, Lieutenant, Royal Scots Fusiliers 28 February 1900, Captain, Royal ...
... during the type's first take-off due to an air lock in the fuel feed ... Fort 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:
“Where force is necessary, there it must be applied boldly, decisively and completely. But one must know the limitations of force; one must know when to blend force with a manoeuver, a blow with an agreement.”
—Leon Trotsky (18791940)
“High on a throne of royal state, which far
Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
Showrs on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit raised
To that bad eminence; and, from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
Vain war with Heavn, and by success untaught,
His proud imaginations”
—John Milton (16081674)
“Speak the speech ... trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it ... I had as lief the town crier had spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and as I may say the whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)