The UNSC Air Force is an aerial division of the UNSC Defense Force (UNSCDF) along with the UNSC Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. The UNSC Air Force serves as an aerial defense and support force, primarily deploying from UNSC Navy vessels or from terrestrial airbases. The Air Force is under the command of the Unified Ground Command.
During the Fall of Reach, "AMX" (Air Mobility Express) units assisted Noble Team. AMX-4 assisted at the Assault on Szurdok Ridge. AMX-42 helped with evacuation efforts during the Raid on New Alexandria.
It is likely that it is tasked with organizing aerial operations, conducting tactical strikes and bombing runs, providing close-air support for infantry forces, combat search and rescue, and transportation of UNSCDF personnel.
- Air Combat Command
The Air Force utilized the GA-TL1 Longsword-class Interceptor up to at least 2557. As well, remaining Shortsword Bombers were given over to the Air Force in that year as reserves. The Air Force also operates the F-41 Exoatmospheric Multirole Strike Fighter. They also utilize the D79H-TC Pelican in the Post-war period.[note 1] Air Force rescue squads used the EV-44 Support VTOL.
- 37th Tactical Fighter Wing
- Extremely little is known about the Air Force. Initially, author Eric Nylund expressed the opinion that its role and function would have been absorbed into the UNSC Navy, though denied that this was canon. Later, in an interview, Frank O'Connor confirmed the existence of an Air Force branch of the UNSCDF. This is backed by the appearances of airmen in Halo 4 and Halo: Escalation.
- In Halo 2 and Halo 3 there are special troopers that pilot the Pelicans and Hornets in the games. They wear special helmets that appear similar to the helmets of modern day fighter pilots. It is possible that these troopers are members of the UNSC Air Force.
- The helmets worn differ from Halo 2 to Halo 3. The Halo 2 helmet consists of a rounded helmet with a large visor to see out of that appears similar to the helmets worn by today's helicopter pilots. The Halo 3 version is more compact and resembles the helmets worn by today's fighter pilots.
- Halo 3 (First appearance)
- Halo 3: ODST
- Halo: Reach (Mentioned only)
- Halo 4
- Halo: Escalation
- Halo 5: Guardians (Mentioned only)
- Halo Wars 2
- Phoenix Logs (Mentioned only)
- As Ryan Frank, an Airman, operates one of these, that means the Air Force must operate them too.
- Halo 5: Guardians - Level: Plaza
- Halo Story Page: Interview with Frank O'Connor and Robert McLees
- Halo Waypoint: Catalog Interaction, Page 14
- Halo Waypoint, Universe, Locations, Meridian
- Halo: Reach - Level: Tip of the Spear
- Halo: Reach - Level: New Alexandria
- Spartan Ops - Episode 1: Departure
- Halo: Reach - Description: UNSC Air Force Pilot helmet
- Halo 5: Guardians - Description: Recon SMG
- Halo 5: Guardians - Description: Urban Mongoose
- Cannon Fodder: Feet First
- Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 114
- Spartan Ops - Episode 5: Chapter 5, Spartan Thorne
- Halo Wars 2 - Collectible: Phoenix Logs - UNSC Units - Nightingale
- Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder - Into the Storm
- Halopedia:Letter - Re:UNSC Army