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."
... 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 ... 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 ...
... ABC Dragonfly I nine-cylinder radial engine fails 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 ...
... Forfar and Kincardine Artillery (Militia) 9 September 1893, 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Scots Fusiliers 12 August 1896, Lieutenant, Royal Scots Fusiliers 28 February 1900, Captain, Royal Scots ...
... 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 Bermuda ...
... 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 ...
Famous quotes containing the words force, royal and/or air:
“It is the essence of truth that it is never excessive. Why should it exaggerate? There is that which should be destroyed and that which should be simply illuminated and studied. How great is the force of benevolent and searching examination! We must not resort to the flame where only light is required.”
—Victor Hugo (18021885)
“High from the summit of a craggy cliff,
Hung oer the deep, such as amazing frowns
On utmost Kildas shore, whose lonely race
Resign the setting sun to Indian worlds,
The royal eagle draws his vigorous young”
—James Thomson (17001748)
“It so happened that, a few weeks later, Old Ernie [Ernest Hemingway] himself was using my room in New York as a hide-out from literary columnists and reporters during one of his rare stopover visits between Africa and Key West. On such all-too-rare occasions he lends an air of virility to my dainty apartment which I miss sorely after he has gone and all the furniture has been repaired.”
—Robert Benchley (18891945)