RAF 90th anniversary events announced

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RAF 90th anniversary events announced

Post by Guest on Tue 18 Mar 2008, 5:16 pm


The RAF launched a programme of celebration events today, Tuesday 18 March 2008, to mark the 90th anniversary of its formation.

Speaking to a large audience at the RAF museum at Hendon in west London, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy spoke of the strength, pride and ethos of the RAF:

"90 years is a significant milestone," he said. "What we have seen over those years is the essential role the RAF has played. Indeed, we have seen the changing nature of warfare, from those very flimsy aircraft over the trenches of France, to events of the last 25 years: the Falklands, the first Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s easy to forget that the RAF has now been flying continuously in the Middle East for 17 years."

Sir Glenn announced several events to mark the RAF’s 90th anniversary over the coming months. There will be a major flypast over London, including Typhoons, the Red Arrows, and aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight on the actual anniversary day, 1 April. That will be followed by a VIP dinner at the RAF Museum that evening. The climax of the celebrations will be at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire in July.

Both past and present were represented at today’s launch. Remarkably, 111-year-old Henry Allingham, a veteran of the Royal Naval Air Service, one of the elements that formed the RAF in 1918, was a centre of attention.

Outside the museum, the famous Chinook helicopter Bravo November had flown in from its base at RAF Odiham. Bravo November, which recently served in Afghanistan, has fought in every conflict since the Falklands War.

Sir Glenn was asked how it felt to be 90.

"It feels very good," he said. "Because the service has achieved an incredible amount over the years. One only has to look back at some of the iconic events, such as the First World War, the Battle of Britain, the Berlin Airlift, the Cold War, the First Gulf War, the Falklands, and more recently Iraq and Afghanistan."
But what about the future – how did Sir Glenn see the RAF developing?

"I think what we’ll see is continued improvement in equipment, the way we train our people, our capabilities being networked together, and more synthetic training.

"The spirit, the ethos, the values and the pride people have in delivering air power is exactly the same today [as 90 years ago]. My grandfather was in the Royal Flying Corps, and I don’t think he was much different from the University Air Squadron cadet I met last Friday."

Source: MOD - http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/HistoryAndHonour/Raf90thAnniversaryEventsAnnounced.htm

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