Royal Australian Air Force - RAAF
Air Force provides air and space power for Australia's security. A modern expeditionary air force, it is the youngest of the three armed Services in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) but the second-oldest air force in the world.
The Royal Australian Air Force is the second-oldest independent and permanent air force in the world (after Britain's Royal Air Force). RAAF origins can be found in the Australian Flying Corps of World War I, but the Air Force was not established as a separate organisation until 1921. During World War II, the RAAF peaked at over 182,000 personnel and 6,200 aircraft in 61 squadrons - meaning that in 1945 Australia vied with Canada in having the fourth-largest air force in the world (after the USA, USSR and UK). The RAAF has since served with distinction in Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. It has also played a role in peace-keeping and humanitarian missions throughout the world, including Bougainville, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Solomon Islands and Somalia.
Air Force Headquarters is located in Canberra. Air Force employs about 13,500 men and women, supported by 2,800 Air Force Reservists and 900 civilian public servants, at 11 major bases and a host of offices across Australia. Air Force works closely with the Navy, Army and allied forces.
- an air combat force of 17 F-111C, four RF-111C and 71 F/A-18 aircraft, crews, weapon systems and support infrastructure. 33 Hawk Lead-In fighter aircraft and four PC-9 Forward Air Control aircraft also contribute to this force
- a combat support force comprising two expeditionary combat support wings and a health services wing
- a surveillance and response force, consisting of air traffic control radar, tactical air defence radars, the Jindalee Operational Radar Network - a wide-area surveillance system monitoring Australia’s northern approaches, and 19 P-3C Orion aircraft, crews and weapons systems
- an airlift force consisting of 24 C-130 Hercules, 14 DHC-4 Caribou, two Boeing 707, and five VIP aircraft - two Boeing 737 BBJ and three CL604 Challenger aircraft. Two C-17 Globemaster aircraft have been delivered and a further two were delivered during 2008.
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