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Royal Canadian Air Force
Aviation royale canadienne  (Script error: The function "name_from_code" does not exist.)
Royal Canadian Air Force Badge.png
Founded 1 April 1924; 98 years ago (1924-04-01)
Country Canada
Type Air force
Role Aerial warfare
Size 391 operational aircraft
   Regular Force 14,500
   Reserve Force: 2,600
   Civilians: 2,500
Part of Canadian Armed Forces
Headquarters National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa, Ontario
Motto(s) Latin: Sic Itur ad Astra
Latin: Per ardua ad astra – (1924 to 1968)
March "RCAF March Past"
Anniversaries Armed Forces Day (first Sunday of June)
Engagements Second World War
 • Battle of Britain
 • Battle of the Atlantic
 • Battle of the St. Lawrence
 • European Bombing campaign
 • Western Front
Korean War
Gulf War
 • Operation Friction
Operation Deliberate Force
Kosovo War
 • Operation Echo
War in Afghanistan
Intervention in Libya
 • Operation Unified Protector
 • Operation Mobile
Military intervention against ISIL
 • Operation Impact
Commander-in-chief Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada represented by Julie Payette, Governor General
Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger
Chief Warrant Officer of the Royal Canadian Air Force Chief Warrant Officer J.R.D. Gaudreault
Roundel RCAF-Roundel.svg RCAF-LowVis-Roundel.svg
Fin flash Flag of Canada.svg Fin Flash of Canada – Low Visibility.svg
Flag Canadian Air Command flag.svg
Aircraft flown
Fighter CF-18 Hornet
Helicopter CH-139 JetRanger, CH-146 Griffon, CH-147 Chinook, CH-148 Cyclone, CH-149 Cormorant
Patrol CP-140 Aurora, CP-140A Arcturus
Reconnaissance CU-170 Heron,
Trainer CT-114 Tutor, CT-142 Dash-8, CT-155 Hawk, CT-156 Harvard II
Transport CC-115 Buffalo, CC-130H Hercules, CC-130J Super Hercules, CC-138 Twin Otter, CC-144 Challenger, CC-150 Polaris, CC-177 Globemaster III

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF; French: Aviation royale canadienne, ARC) is the air force of Canada. Its role is to "provide the Canadian Forces with relevant, responsive and effective airpower". The RCAF is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2013, the Royal Canadian Air Force consists of 14,500 Regular Force and 2,600 Primary Reserve personnel, supported by 2,500 civilians, and operates 258 manned aircraft and 9 unmanned aerial vehicles. Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger is the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Chief of the Air Force Staff.

The Royal Canadian Air Force is responsible for all aircraft operations of the Canadian Forces, enforcing the security of Canada's airspace and providing aircraft to support the missions of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army. The RCAF is a partner with the United States Air Force in protecting continental airspace under the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The RCAF also provides all primary air resources to and is responsible for the National Search and Rescue Program.

The RCAF traces its history to the Canadian Air Force, which was formed in 1920. The Canadian Air Force was granted royal sanction in 1924 by King George V to form the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1968, the RCAF was amalgamated with the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army, as part of the unification of the Canadian Forces. Air units were split between several different commands: Air Defence Command (interceptors), Air Transport Command (airlift, search and rescue), Mobile Command (tactical fighters, helicopters), Maritime Command (anti-submarine warfare, maritime patrol), as well as Training Command.

In 1975, some commands were dissolved (ADC, ATC, TC), and all air units were placed under a new environmental command called simply Air Command (AIRCOM). Air Command reverted to its historic name of "Royal Canadian Air Force" in August 2011. The Royal Canadian Air Force has served in the Second World War, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, as well as several United Nations peacekeeping missions and NATO operations. As a NATO member, the force maintained a presence in Europe during the second half of the 20th century.

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