The World’s Oldest Air Force

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Air Chief Marshal Chappy Hakim
Air Chief Marshal Chappy Hakim, Assumed his appointment as Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Air Force from 2002 to 2005. In 2019, Chappy Hakim founded and led PSAPI – the Indonesian Center for Air Power Studies or ICAP.

Jakarta, IO – Compared to the Army and Navy, our Air Force is a relatively “new” one. In the Armed Forces, the Air Force can be considered “The New Kids on the Block”. 

Thus, many people are not able to entirely understand the main role and position of the Air Force in the combat structure of the national defense system. It is also a reason why many fail to comprehend the importance of the state’s sovereignty of airspace. 

The oldest Air Force in the world is the British Air Force, known as the Royal Air Force or RAF. On April 1, 1918, or 104 years ago, the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) were merged to form the Royal Air Force (RAF). 

The RAF is now capable of operating 24 hours a day and is routinely involved in many air operations, including logistical support and assistance, transportation, surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence operations. 

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The RAF can deal with a wide range of threats within minutes of its home bases at RAF Coningsby and Lossiemouth. 

During the First World War, Germany had already established air superiority with squadrons of bombers, fighters and reconnaissance aircraft. 

The United Kingdom responded immediately by establishing an Air Ministry and building an Air Force called the Royal Air Force (RAF).