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  • The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed toward the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged – at the time – the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history, in particular, playing a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain. The RAF's mission is to support the objectives of the British Ministry of Defence, 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 describe its mission statement as "... [to provide] 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."

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