The Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) is a youth voluntary organisation supported by the Royal Air Force. [It was previously called the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO).] The regions, wings and squadrons across the UK are known as the Air Training Corps (ATC).
The Air Training Corps (ATC) was formed by Royal Warrant in 1941 and sprang from the Air Defence Cadet Corps, founded in 1938 by the Air League. Although initially formed to meet the needs of a nation at war, the RAFAC continues to thrive as it enters the 21st Century. There are now independent air cadet organisations in many other countries throughout the world. The RAFAC also includes the RAF sections of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF).
The RAFAC continues to thrive and helps a new generation of young people, aged 12 (Year 8) to 20, to find a positive purpose in life. With around 45,000 cadets in over 1,000 Squadrons, the RAFAC is one of the country’s premier youth organisations and the world’s largest youth air-training organisation. The cadets are supported by a volunteer staff of around 10,000 plus 5,000 Civilian Committee members.
The Honarary Air Commodore-in-Chief and Royal Patron of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets is Her Royal Highness (HRH) the Duchess of Cambridge, who took over the role from HRH the Duke of Edinburgh in December 2015 after the Duke’s 63 year association with the Organisation.