Definition of air force noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


air force

BrE BrE//ˈeə fɔːs//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈer fɔːrs//
[countable + singular or plural verb] The air force
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the part of a country’s armed forces that fights using aircraft the US Air Force air-force officers CollocationsWar and peaceStarting a war declare/​make/​wage war (on somebody/​something) go to war (against/​with somebody) cause/​spark/​provoke/​foment/​quell unrest incite/​lead/​crush/​suppress a revolt/​rebellion launch/​mount/​carry out a surprise/​terrorist attack prevent/​halt/​represent an escalation of the conflict be torn apart by/​be on the brink of civil war enter/​invade/​occupy somebody’s territory lead/​launch/​resist/​repel an invasionMilitary operations adopt/​develop/​implement/​pursue a military strategy carry out/​execute/​perform military operations/​manoeuvres/(especially US English) maneuvers send/​deploy/​station/​pull back/​withdraw troops go on/​fly/​carry out a reconnaissance/​rescue mission train/​equip/​deploy army/​military/​combat units lead/​launch/​conduct a raid/​a surprise attack/​an (air/​airborne/​amphibious) assault (on somebody) employ/​use guerrilla tactics conduct/​wage biological/​guerrilla warfare fight/​crush/​defeat the rebels/​the insurgency suffer/​inflict a crushing defeat achieve/​win a decisive victory halt/​stop the British/​German/​Russian advance order/​force a retreatFighting join/​serve in the army/​navy/​air force be/​go/​remain/​serve on active duty serve/​complete/​return from a tour of duty be sent to the front (line) attack/​strike/​engage/​defeat/​kill/​destroy the enemy see/​report/​be engaged in heavy fighting call for/​be met with armed resistance come under heavy/​machine-gun/​mortar fire fire a machine-gun/​mortar shells/​rockets (at somebody/​something) shoot a rifle/​a pistol/​bullets/​missiles launch/​fire a cruise/​ballistic/​anti-tank missile use biological/​chemical/​nuclear weapons inflict/​suffer/​sustain heavy losses/​casualties be hit/​killed by enemy/​friendly/​artillery fire become/​be held as a prisoner of warCivilians in war harm/​kill/​target/​protect innocent/​unarmed civilians cause/​avoid/​limit/​minimize civilian casualties/​collateral damage impose/​enforce/​lift a curfew engage in/​be a victim of ethnic cleansing be sent to an internment/​a concentration camp accept/​house/​resettle refugees fleeing from war fear/​threaten military/​violent reprisals commit/​be accused of war crimes/​crimes against humanity/​genocideMaking peace make/​bring/​win/​achieve/​maintain/​promote peace call for/​negotiate/​broker/​declare a ceasefire/​a temporary truce sign a ceasefire agreement call for/​bring/​put an end to hostilities demand/​negotiate/​accept the surrender of somebody/​something establish/​send (in) a peacekeeping force negotiate/​conclude/​ratify/​sign/​accept/​reject/​break/​violate a peace treaty See related entries: The air force Culturethe armed forcesThe British armed forces, sometimes called the services, consist of the Army, the Royal Navy (RN), and the Royal Air Force (RAF). The Queen is Commander-in-Chief of all three services, but responsibility for their management lies with the Ministry of Defence (MOD), which is headed by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Army is the largest of the three services and the Royal Navy the smallest. The Navy is the service with the longest history and is sometimes known as the senior service. The regular forces are supported when necessary by the regular reserves, who are former members of the regular forces, and volunteer reserves, people who train in their free time with the Army Reserve, the Royal Air Force Reserves, or the Royal Navy Reserve. In 1998 the government's Strategic Defence Review set out a plan of modernization of the armed forces and established a Joint Rapid Reaction Force which includes all three services. In 2010, after a Strategic Defence and Security Review, cuts of nearly 8% in the number of members of the armed forces were announced by the government. In the US the President is Commander-in Chief of the armed forces and the Secretary of Defense is responsible for their management. The Joint Chiefs of Staff are the military leaders of the four services, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, which are supported when necessary by the reserve forces, the US Army Reserve, the National Guard and the Navy Reserve. The Army is the service with the longest history. Four of its leaders became President: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S Grant and Dwight Eisenhower.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: air force