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The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) (French: Aviation royale canadienne, ARC), formerly, formally the Canadian Forces Air Command (AIRCOM), is the air force of Canada. The RCAF is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2013, operating 258 manned aircraft and 9 UAVs, the Royal Canadian Air Force consists of 14,500 Regular Force and 2,600 Primary Reserve personnel, supported by 2,500 civilians.<ref name="size" /><ref>Berthiaume, Lee. "Air force's new name got lost in translation, documents show." Postmedia News, 29 November 2011.</ref> Lieutenant-General Michael J. Hood, CMM CD, is the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Chief of the Air Force Staff.

The Royal Canadian Air Force is responsible for all aircraft operations of the Canadian Forces, enforcing the security of Canada's airspace and providing aircraft to support the missions of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army. The RCAF is a partner with the United States Air Force in protecting continental airspace under the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The RCAF also provides all primary air resources to and is responsible for the National Search and Rescue Program.

The RCAF traces its history to the Canadian Air Force which was formed in 1920. The Canadian Air Force was incorporated in 1923 and granted royal sanction in 1924 by King George V.

In 1968 the RCAF was amalgamated with the Royal Canadian Navy, and the Canadian Army, as part of the unification of the Canadian Forces. Air units were split between several different commands: Air Defence Command (interceptors), Air Transport Command (airlift, search and rescue), Mobile Command (tactical fighters, helicopters), Maritime Command (anti-submarine warfare, maritime patrol), as well as Training Command.

In 1975 some commands were dissolved (ADC, ATC, TC), and all air units were placed under a new environmental command called simply Air Command (AIRCOM). Air Command reverted to its historic name the "Royal Canadian Air Force" in August 2011.<ref>"Canadian Forces name." CBC. Retrieved: 26 September 2011.</ref> The Royal Canadian Air Force has served in the Second World War, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, as well as several United Nations peacekeeping missions and NATO operations. As a NATO member, the force maintained a presence in Europe during the second half of the 20th century.


Royal Canadian Air Force sections
Intro  History   Aircraft   Leased and contractor aircraft  Weapons and other equipment  Retired weapons  Current structure  Rank structure  Recognition  Roundels of the Royal Canadian Air Force  Badge of the Royal Canadian Air Force   See also   References   External links   

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