Air Force heritage

The roots of the Royal Australian Air Force extend back to the early days of aviation, and we have made important contributions to defence and peacekeeping initiatives across the globe ever since.

Proud service built on sound values

A set of values underpins everything we do in the Air Force, from developing military strategy to the way we behave with each other and the communities we serve.


Air Force People always respect the rights of others. Our people are just and inclusive. We recognise diversity is essential to improve our capability.


Air Force People demonstrate professionalism, mastery and continuous improvement in everything we do. Our people are motivated and encouraged to innovate. We are capability focussed, operationally ready and are driven to successfully complete the missions required of us.


Air Force People respond swiftly to challenges. Our people are resilient and quickly adapt to changes in our environment. We are flexible in how we think and act and we use resources wisely.


Air Force People are trusted to defend our country. Our people are courageous and serve with pride and commitment. We cherish our heritage, honour the achievements and sacrifices of those who have gone before us and will create the legacy for the future.


Air Force People have the courage to do what is right. Our people are honest, ethical and demonstrate sound judgement. We hold ourselves and others to account.


Air Force People work together to deliver precision air and space power. Our people collaborate with the Defence Team and our partners. We share the responsibility to ensure a safe environment, everywhere and always.

Over a century of loyal service

The Australian Air Force is the second-oldest independent air force in the world, and one of the most respected. From reconnaissance work in World War 1 to today's national defence initiatives, coalition missions and humanitarian operations, we share a proud tradition of service to Australia, our interests, and our allies.

  • 1914 - 1918: World War I
  • 1921: Australian Flying Corps becomes the Royal Australian Air Force
  • 1939 - 1945: World War II
  • 1948 - 1960: Malayan Emergency
  • 1950 - 1953: Korean War
  • 1955 - 1975: Vietnam War
  • 1963 - 1966: Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation
  • 2001 - present: Afghanistan
  • 2003 - 2009: Iraq

In addition to serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Air Force continues to build on its reputation for assisting with disaster-relief, and supporting peacekeeping and humanitarian missions across the world. In the past these operations have involved service in Bougainville, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Somalia and the Sudan.