The Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the oldest independent air force in the world, formed on 1 April 1918.
The overall head of the RAF is the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal. He heads the Air Force Board, a committee of the Defence Council that is responsible for the managementof the RAF. The Air Force Board delegates authority to RAF Air Command (commanded by the Chief of the Air Staff); the headquarters is RAF High Wycombe.
The subdivisions of operational command are called ‘Groups’, which are responsible for certain kinds of operations and territorial areas. There are four Groups:
- No 1 Group: Air Combat Group
- No 2 Group: Air Combat Support Group
- No 22 (Training) Group
- No 38 Group
No 83 Expeditionary Air Group was re-established in 2006 under the command of the Permanent Joint Headquarters; it is active in the Middle East.
Categories of Commissioned RAF Officers
Commissioned RAF officers fall the following categories (in descending order of hierarchy):
|Air Rank||Marshal of the RAF, air chief marshal, air marshal, air vice-marshal, air commodore|
|Senior Officers||group captain, wing commander, squadron leader|
|Junior Officers||flight lieutenant, flying officer, pilot officer|