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Portuguese Air Force is an intrinsic member of the national system of defense forces. Its mission is to fully cooperate in the military defense of the Portuguese Republic and its airspace through air operation missions. Moreover, its further aim also implies the completion of missions in the scope of the international cooperative efforts that result from the commitment of the State, and missions that are of public interest and thus ensure the satisfaction of the population’s needs.
It was created on July 1st, 1952, having been established as an independent branch, hand in hand with the Portuguese Army and the Portuguese Navy, whose air operations it integrated.


Portuguese Air Force is an organization characterized as cohesive, disciplined, agile, highly professional, and competent. It is focused on its Mission and oriented towards the society. Its efforts are aimed at Portuguese defense, safety, and the country’s development.

An Air Force centered on its mission:

  • It generates Air Power using its military defense abilities to aid the population and to ensure the accomplishment of its international commitments; It is certain of its operational ability;
  • It involves its people in a cohesive, disciplined, and motivated Force.

An Air Force oriented towards the society:

  • It is inclusive and people are environmentally friendly;
  • It promotes the professional development, training, and qualification of its people;
  • It motivates its people.

A Sustainable and Efficient Air Force:

  • It supports the adoption of new technologies and innovative thought paradigms;
  • It supports research, development, and innovation.

An agile, effective, flexible and innovative Air Force, which favors an adequate structure, culture, creativity, and a dynamic management of its image.


The organization of the Portuguese Air Force is based on a vertical rank structure, which is founded on levels of hierarchic, functional, technical, and coordinative authorities. This structure seeks to reinforce an effective responsibility in the operational, logistics, and personnel fields that form the institution.

The General Commander of the Portuguese Air Force (CEMFA), due to an intrinsic part of its duties, is the National Aeronautical Authority (Autoridade Aeronáutica Nacional). CEMFA is the main cooperator of the National Defense Ministry and of the Chief of the General Commander of the Armed Forces (CEMGFA) in all the matters concerning the Air Force.

Mission HEAD