|Royal Australian Air Force|
|Active||31 March 1921 – present|
|Size||14,313 Active personnel
5,499 Reserve personnel
|Part of||Australian Defence Force|
|Motto(s)||Latin: Per Ardua ad Astra
"Through Adversity to the Stars"
|March||Royal Australian Air Force March Past|
|Anniversaries||RAAF Anniversary Commemoration – 31 March|
(As Governor-General of Australia)
|Chief of Air Force||Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld|
|Deputy Chief of Air Force||Air Vice Marshal Stephen Meredith|
|Air Commander Australia||Air Vice Marshal Joe Iervasi|
|Warrant Officer of the Air Force||Warrant Officer Robert Swanwick|
|Boeing EA-18G, E-7A Wedgetail, Gulfstream G550|
|Fighter||F/A-18 Hornet (A and B), F/A-18F Super Hornet, F-35|
|Patrol||AP-3C Orion, P8-A Poseidon|
|Trainer||PC-9, PC-21, Hawk 127, B300|
|Transport||C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, Boeing 737, B300, Challenger 600, Airbus A330 MRTT, C-27J Spartan|
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), formed in March 1921, is the aerial warfare branch of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). It operates the majority of the ADF's fixed wing aircraft, although both the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy also operate aircraft in various roles. It directly continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps (AFC), formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF provides support across a spectrum of operations such as air superiority, precision strikes, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, air mobility, space surveillance, and humanitarian support.
The RAAF took part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts. During the early years of the Second World War a number of RAAF bomber, fighter, reconnaissance and other squadrons served in Britain, and with the Desert Air Force located in North Africa and the Mediterranean. From 1942, many RAAF units were formed in Australia, and fought in South West Pacific Area. Thousands of Australians also served with other Commonwealth air forces in Europe, including during the bomber offensive against Germany. By the time the war ended, a total of 216,900 men and women served in the RAAF, of whom 10,562 were killed in action.
Later the RAAF served in the Berlin Airlift, Korean War, Malayan Emergency, Indonesia–Malaysia Confrontation and Vietnam War. More recently, the RAAF has participated in operations in East Timor, the Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan, and the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The RAAF has 259 aircraft, of which 110 are combat aircraft.
The first plan for an Australian air force was given to the Military Board in 1910. The plan was approved on 22 October, 1912, and five planes were ordered. A flying school was set up on 734 acres (297 ha) of land at Point Cook, Victoria, with the first students starting on 17 August, 1914.
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