The German Air Force is the aerial warfare branch of the Bundeswehr, the armed forces of Germany.
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe.
The Bundeswehr is the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities.
Aerial warfare is the use of military aircraft and other flying machines in warfare.
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With a strength of 28,002 personnel, it is the fourth largest air force within the European Union, after the air forces of the United Kingdom, France and Italy.
The European Union is a politico-economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe.
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Although its budget has been significantly reduced since the end of the Cold War in 1989–1990, the Luftwaffe is still among the best-equipped air forces of the world.
The Cold War was a state of political and military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc and powers in the Eastern Bloc.
The German Air Force was founded in 1956 during the era of the Cold War as the aerial warfare branch of the armed forces of then West Germany.
West Germany is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation on 23 May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990.
After the reunification of West and East Germany in 1990, it integrated parts of the air force of the former German Democratic Republic, which itself had been founded in 1956 as part of the National People's Army.
There is no organizational continuity between the current German Air Force and the former Luftwaffe of the Wehrmacht combined forces founded in 1935, which was completely disbanded in 1945/46 after World War II. The term Luftwaffe that is used for both the historic and the current German air force is the German-language generic designation of any air force.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier.
The commander of the German Air Force is Lieutenant General Karl Müllner.
Lieutenant general, lieutenant-general and similar is a three-star military rank used in many countries.
In 2012, the Air Force had an authorized strength of 28,475 active soldiers and 4,914 reservists.