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Royal New Zealand Air Force

Air force component of the New Zealand Defence Force / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) (Māori: Te Tauaarangi o Aotearoa, "The Warriors of the Sky of New Zealand"; previously Te Hokowhitu o Kahurangi, "War Party of the Blue")[4] is the aerial service branch of the New Zealand Defence Force. It was formed from New Zealand elements of the British Royal Air Force, becoming an independent force in 1923, although many RNZAF aircrew continued to serve in the Royal Air Force until the end of the 1940s.

Quick facts: Royal New Zealand Air Force, Founded, Country...
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Te Tauaarangi o Aotearoa (Māori)
Badge of the Royal New Zealand Air Force
  • 1913; 110 years ago (1913) (first military aviation)
  • 1923; 100 years ago (1923) (New Zealand Permanent Air Force)
  • 1 April 1937; 85 years ago (1937-04-01) (independent service)
Country New Zealand
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Size2,477 active personnel
354 reserve personnel
47 aircraft
Part ofNew Zealand Defence Force
Motto(s)Per Ardua ad Astra
MarchRoyal New Zealand Air Force March Past
Anniversaries1 April 1937
Commander-in-ChiefGovernor-General Dame Cindy Kiro[2]
Chief of the Defence ForceAir Marshal Kevin Short
Chief of the Air ForceAir Vice-Marshal Andrew Clark[3]
Deputy Chief of the Air ForceAir Commodore Ian Mower
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Aircraft flown

The RNZAF fought in World War II, Malaya, Korean War, Vietnam and the Gulf War as well as undertaking various United Nations peacekeeping missions. From a 1945 peak of over 1,000 combat aircraft the RNZAF has shrunk to a strength of around 48 aircraft in 2022, focusing on maritime patrol and transport duties in support of the Royal New Zealand Navy and the New Zealand Army. The RNZAF's air combat capability ended in 2001, under the Fifth Labour Government with the disbanding of the A-4 Skyhawk and Aermacchi MB-339 equipped squadrons.

The Air Force is led by an Air Vice-Marshal who holds the appointment of Chief of Air Force. The RNZAF motto is the same as that of the Royal Air Force, Per ardua ad astra, meaning "through adversity to the stars".[5]