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PART I – The RAF. Purpose -To defend the UK and Overseas Territories -To strengthen international peace and security. The Royal Flying Corp (RFC). The Royal Flying Corp was formed in May 1912 - The aircraft were unarmed and used for reconnaissance to support military and naval operations

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part i the raf
  • Purpose

-To defend the UK and Overseas Territories

-To strengthen international peace and security

the royal flying corp rfc
The Royal Flying Corp (RFC)

The Royal Flying Corp was formed in

May 1912

-The aircraft were unarmed and used for reconnaissance to support military and naval operations

-In 1914, the Navy broke away to form the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS)

fighter aircraft
Fighter Aircraft
  • The British began building fighter aircraft after the Germans began shooting down reconnaissance machines.
  • The RAF No 66 Squadron flew the Sopwith Pup , with great success, in France in 1917
bombing raids
In 1916, as a result of Zeppelin bombing raids, the British realised the aircraft could be used for bombing and they commenced bombing raids against Germany

In 1917, bomber aircraft from Germany were used to attack Britain

Bombing raids
raf is formed
RAF is Formed
  • The bombing raids spurred the government into action and….

On the 1st of April 1918 The RAF was born

(The merging of RFC and RNAS)

By the end of the War in 1918 the RAF had 190 squadrons with 290,000 officers and men!

raf colleges
RAF Colleges
  • Lord Trenchard(father of the RAF) and Winston Churchill(Secretary of State for War and Air) both decided on an annual budget of £15 million and concentrated on sound training and organisation.
  • Result- RAF College Cranwell Apprentice school and RAF Halton and RAF Stafford College Andover were opened
  • This led to high quality aircrew and ground crew
royal navy independence
Royal Navy Independence
  • In 1937 The Royal Navy regained independence.
  • The RAF had responsibility of land based maritime reconnaissance.
capability for quick expansion
The RAF was build with the capability of quick expansion

The advantage of this policy was demonstrated towards the beginning of WW2 (worsening political situation in Europe)

This led to the RAF having 9,000 operational aircraft and 40,000 aircraft engaged in training and non operational duties by 1936

Capability for Quick Expansion
inter war years
High Speed Flight was not neglected

Schneider Trophy won




(speeds 281-340 mph)

This led to the development of the Spitfire and Hurricane

Inter War Years

Wellington and Whitely bombers also emerging!

Most Important Achievement in Inter War Years

Radio Detection And Ranging (RADAR) was developed as a early warning system.

A chain of 18 RADAR stations were located along the East Coast

battle of britain
May and June of 1940 Fighter Command flew more then 2,700 sorties.

Air superiority was gained over Dunkirk beaches to cover the evacuation of the British Army from France

July 1940 Battle of Britain began

600-700 fighters (Spitfires and Hurricanes) flew against Luftwaffe’s force of 1,000 fighters and 1,250 bombers.

Battle of Britain

July to October 1940 was the turning point for the War

Germans stopped planned invasion of Britain for September

after the war
After the War
  • RAF reduced in size
  • By 1962 RAF became a regular force including the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves
nuclear deterrent
Nuclear Deterrent
  • Valiant dropped first British Atomic Bomb at Maralinga 1956
  • First Hydrogen Bomb at Christmas Island 1957
  • After Valiant came the Vulcan and Victor V- bombers
  • 1970- RN’s Polaris submarine force became operational which took on nuclear deterrent and the V bombers reverted to other roles
1960 Mach 2 Lightning entered service.
  • Inter flight refuelling techniques began- tanker force with Valiant then Victor
  • 1969 First V/STOL Harrier entered service- first fixed wing vertical/short take-off/landing aircraft
  • Next, came the Nimrod, Buccaneer, Phantom and Hercules
  • Joined with France to develop the Jaguar
3 types of helicopters – Puma , Gazelle and Lynx
  • Tornado was developed and produced in Britain, Germany and Italy as a multi-role aircraft
  • Tornado provided reconnaissance, strike attack and long range fighter defence for all 3 countries.
  • Hawk replaced Gnat and Hunter for Advanced training
  • To a large extent Britain's security rests on the strength of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
  • RAF plays her part in countering treats to peace outside Europe. This responsibility is shared with other members in the Commonwealth
falklands and kuwait
Falklands and Kuwait
  • 1982 –Falklands War – extreme range where air-to-air refuelling is a vital factor.
  • 1990 -Iraq invaded Kuwait – RAF as part of UN forces played a part in liberating the country
operation desert storm
Operation Desert Storm
  • Operation Desert Storm provided most demanding examination of true capabilities of the Service
  • Rapid Response- 50 hours after the government decided to deploy forces the Tornado F3 Sqn was flying
  • Flexibility- different enemies and different allies then normal Soviet threat to Europe.
accuracy of bombing
Accuracy of Bombing
  • RAF has developed laser, TV and Infra-red guided bombs and rockets
  • In 1943 90% bombs falling within 3 miles of target!
  • In Gulf War- 90% of precision guided bombs landed within 5 feet of target. This was also demonstrated in Kosovo in 1999 during NATO air attacks.
nato s defence strategy changes
NATO’s defence strategy changes
  • Early 1990’s - the joining of East and West Germany and the fact that the Soviet Union is no longer a treat, meant NATO must become a smaller, highly flexible and more mobile force.
  • By 2000 the RAF is reduced to 53,000 personnel.
the new raf
The New RAF

To take the RAF into the new Millennium

  • Forces must be of sufficient quality and quantity. They must possess the high degree of skill and professionalism demanded by the conditions of modern conflict and the increasing complexity of military equipment.
  • The RAF must continue to train, to re-equip and to redeploy if it is to play its part maintaining the strength of the Western Alliance sufficient to deter aggression and maintain peace.
  • The RAF is Loyal to the Crown but controlled by parliament
  • The Prime Minister and Cabinet decide what policies the country follows- They exercise control of the Armed forces through the Defence Council
  • The Secretary of State is the Chairman of the Defence Council
Each Armed Forces controlled by board of Senior Officers and the Heads of these service boards are members of Defence Council which
  • The Defence Council advise the government.
  • The Defence Council and the Air Force Board controls the RAF
raf commands
RAF Commands
  • RAF Units are grouped into 2 Commands, determined by the jobs they do.
  • Strike Command


  • Personal and Training Command
raf groups
RAF Groups
  • Sub-headquarters called Groups control specialist units.
  • Eg) those flying a particular class of aircraft such as fighters.
  • Groups only exist in Strike Command
raf units and stations
RAF Units and Stations
  • ‘Unit’ is the title applied to elements of the RAF which are established to cover a particular function eg. Signals Units.
  • The basic operational Unit is the squadron; squadrons are equipped with aircraft or missiles or they may have squadrons of the RAF Regiment.
  • Squadrons can be be subdivided into two or more flights depending on their size.
raf strike command rafstc raf high wycombe
RAF Strike Command controls all the RAF offensive and defensive operations at home and overseas.

Three new commands were formed 1April 2000 to improve the ability to react to crises

No. 1 Group- responsible for all strife attack and offensive support aircraft. (Eurofighter and Tornado)

No. 2 Group – operates all the aircraft and force elements that support frontline operations (air transport and air-to-air refuelling)

No. 3 Group-Home of new Joint Force Harrier (RN/RAF) plus Nimrod maritime patrol, search and rescue helicopters, mountain rescue teams

RAF Strike Command(RAFSTC)RAF High Wycombe
headquarters personnel and training command rafptc raf innsworth
- involves all aspects of recruiting, training, career management, welfare, conditions of service, resettlement and pensions for RAF regular and reserve forces world wide.Headquarters Personnel and Training Command(RAFPTC)- RAF Innsworth
units and stations
More than one unit can be located on an RAF station.

If the units are mostly operational squadrons (i.e. squadrons flying aircraft) the station is known as an operational station. Other types may be flying or non-flying stations.

A typical station is organised into 3 wings:




Flying squadrons will be directly responsible to the station commander but will come under operations wing for operational co-ordination.

Units and Stations
On a station:

Flight lieutenants command flights

Squadron leaders command squadrons

Wing Commanders command wings.

BUT most operational flying squadrons are led by wing commanders and operational flights by squadron leaders.

A station commander is a group captain

Groups are commanded by air vice-marshals.

The RAF Commands are led by air marshals or air-chief marshals

the role of the operations wings
The Role of the Operations Wings
  • Planning and organisation of support for the stations operations
  • Air traffic control
  • Fire services
  • Photographic interpretation
the role of the engineering wing
The Role of the Engineering Wing
  • Divided into mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering both for aircraft and for ground equipment.
  • It could also include: The Armoury and the MT section (housing and servicing vehicles)
the role of the admin wing
The Role of the Admin Wing
  • Look after the personnel who live and work on the station.
  • The day-to-day management of

A) Catering

B) Accommodation

C) Recreation

D) Security

E) Financial

F) Medical

G) Education

H) Personnel Administration (Personnel Service Flight) (PSF)– pay, leave

  • As a cadet you have the responsibility to the RAF to guard its secrets.
  • Most cadets will learn something about the RAF which other countries would like to know.
  • The safeguard of that information is a test of your trustworthiness
what is security
What is Security?
  • Security is our defence against indirect and terrorist attack is it is just as important as the defence against direct attack.
  • All cadets must play their part in helping to maintain the security of the RAF, and indeed the nation.
squadron security
Every cadet is responsible for the security of his squadron, or detached flight.

This includes:

Loss, theft or damage of equipment

More importantly the safe use of the rifles which our unit possesses.

Squadron Security
classified materials unclassified material has no security value at all
Restricted – undesirable in the interest of the Nation to reveal to any unauthorized person.

Confidential– if revealed to any unauthorised person, would prejudice the interests of the Nation

Secret- if revealed to any unauthorised person, would cause serious injury ot he interest of the Nation.

Top Secret- if revealed to any unauthorised person, would cause exceptionally grave damage to the interest of the Nation.

Classified Materials(Unclassified material has no security value at all.)
need to know principle
Need to know principle
  • As a cadet, sooner or later, you are bound to hear or see something which a foreign power would like to know – for example, information about aircraft or aircraft movements. Before talking about it you should ask yourself ‘does the other person ‘need to know’?.
  • The answer is usually ‘no’, but of course common sense should prevail.