Speech: PM's speech at RAF100 Centenary celebration in Downing Street

MoD_RSS

War Hero
It is great to see so many servicemen and women here for these special centenary celebrations – and a particular honour to welcome Mary Ellis – who flew Spitfires and bombers to frontline bases in World War Two – and Colin Bell – who was a pathfinder and Mosquito pilot.

I want to begin by telling you about an extraordinary moment recently, when on the way back from Cyprus, my plane was intercepted by two RAF Typhoon jets.

As they – I am not sure of the right expression here – pulled up alongside my plane, they tipped their wings and revealed their weapons – a gesture that I understand is a warning, perhaps a little like a lion baring its teeth.

It was a most extraordinary sight. A true heart in mouth moment.

And even though I knew it was a mock exercise, I was given a rare glimpse into what it must be like in a Russian aircraft probing UK airspace, or in an airliner not responding to air traffic control.

No one who has witnessed such a moment could ever doubt the skill, the rapidity of response or the might of Britain’s Royal Air Force.

And it made me immensely proud – proud not only of our impressive military force but of the skill, courage and dedication of our airmen and women who for 100 years have so valiantly defended our skies and kept our enemies at bay.

From those flying aces of the First World War to the pilots of Typhoon jets that can break the sound barrier.

From those early pioneering engineers to the ground crew, technicians, air traffic controllers, nurses, medical staff, drivers, and flight operations officers of today.

The men and women of the Royal Air Force have always stood for bravery, service, duty, and standing alongside your peers in the Royal Navy and Army.

And today, in an increasingly uncertain world, your skill and courage are vital to the air and space power which allows the UK to respond quickly and decisively around the world.

Whether that is mounting immediate disaster relief, or an evacuation operation as we did in the Caribbean last autumn. Fighting Daesh in Syria and Iraq as the second largest contributor to air operations in the region. Or conducting a long range precision strike mission within a matter of hours as we did in Syria last month – one of the gravest decisions I have ever taken as Prime Minister.

And as the threats we face continue to intensify and evolve – from the resurgence of state based threats to the regional instability exploited by extremists – air power will continue to play a decisive role in protecting the security and prosperity of our nation, people and allies.

So it is fantastic that next month our F-35 Lightning stealth fighter jets will arrive in the UK ahead of schedule, ensuring that Britain remains at the forefront of international air power – and maritime power too with our Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

And it is fitting that 617 Squadron – the squadron of the legendary Dambusters – will be stood up again and its pilots will fly these most advanced fighter jets.

But it is not just in combat and emergency operations that the RAF has made such a significant contribution to this country and our way of life – it is also in the desire to give back, and the support you give to communities here and overseas. From sustaining our links with the Falklands or resupplying the French military in Mali to your countless contributions to communities across the United Kingdom.

For one hundred years, the RAF has proved it is not only the first independent air force in the world, but the finest. It stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines and the Army in defending our nation and promoting our values, and I am delighted that members of each Service are here this evening.

And to those here today on the threshold of their careers, I want to say what a great choice you have made.

Because, in whichever branch of the Armed Forces you serve, you will be the worthy successors of those brave, innovative and inspirational men and women who have gone before you.

From the Battle of Britain to Bomber Command, from the Falklands to the Gulf War, from humanitarian relief operations to those who fly today’s missions against Daesh in Syria and Iraq – we owe the men and women of our RAF an immense debt of gratitude, as we do all our servicemen and women.

On behalf of the nation, thank you. Thank you for your dedication. Thank you for the many sacrifices you make. Thank you for a century of extraordinary service and courage.

Continue reading...
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
MoD_RSS Julia Lopez speech at techUK’s ‘Building the Smarter State’ Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Lord Chancellor’s Speech: White Paper Launch - A Smarter Approach to Sentencing MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Robert Jenrick's speech to Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Home Secretary speech at the Police Superintendents' Association conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Chartered Institute of Housing 2020: Housing Minister's speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Defence Secretary's speech at meeting of UK, German and French defence ministers MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech to ICAEW Virtual Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Lord Chancellor’s Mansion House speech to the judiciary MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Chief Secretary to the Treasury delivers his first speech in the role to thinktank Onward MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Universities Minister speech at Festival of Higher Education MoD News 0
MoD_RSS George Eustice speech on environmental recovery: 20 July 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Commander Strategic Command, General Sir Patrick Sanders’ Speech at the Air and Space Power Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Amb Pruce's Speech at the Forum on Youths’ SOGIE & Mental Health
 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Defence Secretary keynote speech at the Air and Space Power Conference 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Defence Secretary Ben Wallace gives a speech at the Air and Space Power Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Alex Chisholm speech at Civil Service Live 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Foreign Secretary speech at India Global Week MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Education Secretary FE speech with Social Market Foundation MoD News 0
MoD_RSS A Plan for Jobs speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Local Government Association annual conference 2020: Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government's speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rushi Sunak, on the future relationship between the UK and Switzerland on financial services MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Environment Secretary speech at the COP26 Business Leaders Event MoD News 0
MoD_RSS PM Economy Speech: 30 June 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Has coronavirus killed globalisation: speech by Laura Clarke MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Digital Secretary's closing speech to the UK Tech Cluster Group MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Fiona MacGregor speech at Digital Housing Week – 22 June 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Leader of the House of Commons speech: 8 June 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Caroline Dinenage's keynote speech for the Founders Forum - Healthtech stage MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Caroline Dinenage's keynote speech at the CogX Createch Stage MoD News 0
MoD_RSS COP26 President speech at Race to Zero campaign launch MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Tourism Minister's speech at the Extraordinary G20 Tourism Ministers' Meeting on Covid-19 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS COP26 President speech at opening of Placencia Ambition Forum MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Gavin Williamson speech on COVID-19 response MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Queen's Counsel Appointments Ceremony 2020: Lord Chancellor speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Economic secretary speech to the ABCUL MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Education Secretary speech at ASCL's Annual Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech for Airport Operators Association annual dinner MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Budget Speech 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss speech at The House magazine's Women in Westminster: The 100 event MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Housing Minister's speech to the Planning Inspectorate MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Defence Secretary Ben Wallace gives a speech to the Atlantic Council MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Secretary of State Oliver Dowden's speech at the Enders Media and Telecoms Conference MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Times Law Awards 2020: Robert Buckland speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Nigel Huddleston Youth Sport Trust Annual Conference speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech at GCR Live: Telecoms, Media and Technology 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS IAP Keeping Safe Conference: Robert Buckland speech MoD News 0
MoD_RSS HMA Daniel Pruce's Speech at the Media Freedom Reception MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Nicky Morgan's speech on the future of media and broadcasting MoD News 0
MoD_RSS PM speech at COP 26 Launch: 4 February 2020 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS PM speech in Greenwich: 3 February 2020 MoD News 0
Similar threads


















































Top