The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the Air Force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF began in March 1912 as the Australian Flying Corps making it the second oldest air force in the world. It became a fully independent Air Force in March 1921.
The RAAF has taken part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts including both World Wars, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. More recently the RAAF participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The motto on the RAAF's coat of arms is the Latin phrase Per Ardua ad Astra, which means "Through Struggle to the Stars".