The Lendosan Confederate Airforce is responsible for all air-based military activity conducted by Lendosa. This covers both aircraft (including helicopters) and long-range missiles. Unlike in some countries, there are no air arms operated by other services, such as a naval air arm to operate carrier-based planes, or an army helicopter section - these functions are carried out by integrated Airforce units.
Ranks and Uniforms
Officers in the Lendosan Confederate Airforce are divided into eight ranks. In order of seniority (from lowest to highest), these are Pilotofiso, Aerofiso, Aeroducio, Asaducio, Voladucio, Ponariano, Ninhoriano, Ejaliano, Altejaliano, and Grandejaliano. These rank names can be translated into literal equivalents, but this is not always done. The most senior officer (who serves as the commander of the airforce) is given the prefix "grando" on his or her rank (producing Grandejaliano, which can be translated as Grand Force Commander), while the second most senior officer is given the prefix "alto" (producing Altejaliano, or High Force Commander). These are not, however, ranks in the strictest sense - rather, they are aditional titles given to a regular Force Commander.
The uniform worn by airforce officers is teal with gold trimming. The uniform's design, which (apart from colour) is identical to those of the Army and Navy, was originally used during the days of the Empire. Rank is indicated by a number of square golden badges (also from the Imperial era) on the front of the unform, and by a bar on the uniform's epaulets.
. Rank Insignia Epaulet Bar Rank Name Pilot Officer Air Officer Air Leader Wing Leader Flight Leader Station Commander Base Commander Air Commander High Air Commander Grand Air Commander
The Lendosan Confederate Airforce, like other branches of the military, is made up from the core of the old Imperial Airforce. Other parts of this force were either disbanded or transferred to former Imperial territories (now independent).
The original Imperial Airforce was created in 256 AP. Prior to this, there had been no unified airforce in the Empire's military forces. Rather, the Army and the Navy both maintained separate forces, each designed to operate independently. The Army's aircraft were intended to provide additional firepower against ground-based targets, and protect Lendosan troops against air attack. The Navy's aircraft, meanwhile, were based mainly on aircraft carriers, and were intended to increase the range at which a naval squadron could strike, and to protect ships against air attack by enemy planes. In 255 AP, however, the Imperial government decided that maintaining two separate airforces resulted in unnecessary duplication of resources. Moreover, there was an increasing realization of the powerful role that an airforce could play in its own right, not merely as an augmentation of traditional ground or sea forces. As such, the Imperial Airforce was created.
Prior to the formation of the joint Airforce, air power had proved a significant asset for the Empire's military. It was particularly effective in the Empire's war in Caboteniasa. This was notable for being one of the first major conflicts in Vexillium's history where air power was used extensively. Against the less advanced Caboteniasan militaries, air power proved to be a significant advantage, and helped to provide a crushing victory for Imperial forces. As a result of this success, much attention was given to air capabilities, which had once been thought of as useful only for scouting.
Air power continued to be a significant focus for the military after the creation of the Imperial Airforce. However, the limitations of this type of fighting were exposed by the Percevejani War, a campaign against communist rebels in dense jungle terrain. While air power had proved effective against conventional armies, it was not easily employed in guerilla warfare. The Airforce attempted to counter these problems by use of helicopters, as they were considerably more useful in such a conflict than high-flying aircraft. While the Percevejani War was not a great success for the Airforce, the effective use of helicopters deflected much potential criticism.
The Airforce also picked up responsibility for the Empire's balistic missiles (including nuclear-armed ones) and air defence missiles. In 288 AP, however, the branch of the Airforce responsible for these functions was split away, forming a fourth military service. This service was known in Lendian as the Foguetoria (based on the Lendian word for "rocket"), but the lack of a suitable equivalent means that the word is generally translated simply as "Missile Force". The Missile Force remained separate until 303 AP, some time after the Empire had fallen. It was then reintegrated into the Airforce, where it continues to be an important division.
Unlike both the Army and the Navy, the Airforce has never been particularly politicised. While its commanders have often voiced views on military matters, there has been little use of the Airforce for political purposes, and it has tended to remain outside governmental disputes unless both the Army and the Navy have already become involved.