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 Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal. He heads the Air Force Board, the management body of the RAF which consists of the Commander-in-Chief of Air Command, together with several other high-ranking officers.
The Air Force Board delegates authority to Air Command, the headquarters of the RAF in High Wycombe, which is responsible for operations, and all other Commands.
The subdivisions of operational Commands are called Groups, which are responsible for certain kinds of operations and territorial areas. There are three groups:
- 1 Group: Air Combat Group (responsible for RAF's fast combat jet aircraft).
- 2 Group: Air Combat Support Groups (responsible for strategic and tactical air transport and the RAF Regiment).
- 22 Group: responsible for recruitment, training and management.
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|