The RAF is 100 on April 1st 2018.
Fri Mar 23, 2018 14:13

The Royal Air Force is 100 years old on April 1st. Born from the RNAS and RFC in WW1 to form an independant Air Force not controlled by the Army or Navy, which was formerly the case. The WRAF was also formed the same day from the earlier cadre of women within these services also.
On April 1st, 2018 we remember the service in defence of this Country and others of the Royal Air Force. Formed in 1918 from the Army`s Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Navy`s air arm-the Royal Naval Air Service as an independant force, or a third Military arm. Men and women served during WW1 and set a tradition that the RAF continues to this day. At that time it was the largest air force in the world.

In WW2 many aircrew and groundcrew, as well as women from the WAAF were sacrificed for freedom. . Over 55000 men in Bomber Command alone to add to the losses in Fighter Command, Coastal Command, Transport Command and Training Command as well as in Ferry duties, testing aircraft and other roles. We especially remember The Few fighting to defend Britain in the Battle of Britain 1940 and that from nearly 3000 aircrew involved, only around 8 or less survive today at the time of writing. The RAF's naval aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm, was founded in 1924 but handed over to Admiralty control on 24 May 1939.

We also remember those killed or wounded in service during other conflicts or areas needing support such as Korea, Malaya, Aden, Suez, the Falkland War, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, Northern Ireland, Libya and others. We remember also more than 70 years of RAF Search and Rescue provision in the UK.

Today the role of defence and support continues:The RAF's mission is to support the objectives of the MoD, which are to "provide the capabilities needed: to ensure the security and defence of the United Kingdom and overseas territories, including against terrorism; to support the Government’s foreign policy objectives particularly in promoting international peace and security". The RAF describe its mission statement as "... [to provide] An agile, adaptable and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, and that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission".

On April 1st 2018, and always, let us remember those of the RAF who were killed, wounded or affected by their service for this Country and others in conflict and peace keeping roles.

Paul Davies

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