The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. The RAF has taken a significant role in British military history, playing a large part in the Second World War and in more recent conflicts, such as Afghanistan.
The RAF is one of the most capable and technologically sophisticated air forces in the world, and as of mid 2011. The RAF has total manpower strength of 42,200 regular personnel and 1,500 Royal Auxiliary Air Force personnel. In addition the RAF can call-upon 33,400 fully trained Royal Air Force Reserves. The majority of the RAF’s aircraft and personnel are based in the UK with many others serving on operations or at long-established overseas bases.
Although the RAF is the principal British air power arm, the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm and the British Army’s Army Air Corps also deliver air power which is integrated into the maritime, littoral and land environments.
From this we can see that the British armed forces are well equipped, and are our best form of defence.