THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
The RAAF has its roots in history back to 1911 and the London held Imperial Conference. Here, it was decided that the Armed Forces of the expansive British Empire should develop and incorporate aviation into their doctrine and forces. After the British, it fell to Australia to be the first Dominion to implement the concept, approving the establishment of the “Australian Aviation Corps”, starting with the Central Flying School at Point Cook, Victoria, opening on 22 October 1912.
Just two years later, the Australian Flying Corps was off to New Guinea for the fight to capture the German colonies, but they surrendered before they’d even unpacked the aircraft. Their first test came against the Ottoman Empire on 27 May 1915. TheMesopotamian Half Flight aided the Indian Army fighting in what is now Iraq. They later saw further action in the region, mainly in Egypt and Palestine, before heading off the the grinding Western Front.
At the end of the air, the new, hardened force numbered eight squadrons, four active and four in training. Some 460 officers and 2,234 other ranks served in the AFC, whilst
another 200 men served as aircrew in the British flying services.
Casualties included 175 dead, 111 wounded, 6 gassed and 40 captured.
It was in March 1921 that the modern RAAF was formed with the mandate to provide a full spectrum of operations, growing over the next century to include air superiority, precision strikes,
intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, air mobility, space
surveillance, and humanitarian support. The RAAF has fought in many of the 20th centuries major conflicts, including WWII, where they fought in many theatres of operations, including North Africa,, Europe, and the South West Pacific. A total of 216,900 men and women fought for the service in WWII, with 10,562 losing their lives.
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. As of June 2018, the RAAF had 14,313 permanent full-time personnel and 5,499 part-time active reserve personnel.