Air Force Reserves

The Royal Australian Air Force actively employs about 4,000 Air Force Reservists in a wide range of roles.

The Air Force Reserve is an essential component of Air Force’s integrated workforce model. Air Force Reserve members may be employed in most parts of the Australian Defence Organisation. Once trained, you would normally be posted to a reserve position and work alongside Permanent Air Force members in support of day-to-day operations. You may be called upon to support military operations or civilian emergencies, fill permanent Air Force positions under certain circumstances, or complete project work.

Types of Reserve Service

Reservists serve in one of the following elements.

The Operational Reserve  – comprising of the following:

  • RAAF Active Reserve (RAAFAR) – annual commitment is 20 days;
  • RAAF High Readiness Active Reserve (RAAFHRAR) – annual commitment is 50 days;
  • RAAF Specialist Reserve (RAAFSR) – annual commitment is 7 days; and
  • RAAF High Readiness Specialist Reserve (RAAFHRSR) – annual commitment is 7 days.

Operational Reserve members may be asked to volunteer for duty above the minimum annual commitment.

The RAAF Standby Reserve (RAAFSTR) – consisting of members formerly from the Permanent or Reserve Air Force. These members do not serve unless a ‘call out’ occurs in times of an emergency.

Employment in the Air Force Reserves

If you are interested in a career in the reserves (or the Permanent Air Force), further information, including the training, pay and benefits and current jobs available, can be found at Defence Force Recruiting.

Defence provides support to civilian employers and reserve employers. Further information can be found here.

If you are currently in the RAAF Standby Reserve and wish to serve in the Operational Reserve or in the Permanent Air Force, further information can be found at this link: Entering the Permanent Air Force or Reserves.


A summary of the history of the Air Force Reserve to date can be found at this link: Reserves' History


To read the latest issue of the RAAF Reserve newsletter News Breakers follow this link: RAAF Reserve News Breakers