RAF Centenary

Part of Leaving the EU – in the House of Commons at 6:09 pm on 26th November 2018.

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Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Defence 6:09 pm, 26th November 2018

There is a theme coming out very clearly in this debate, which is the role that the Air Force plays in inspiring future generations—whether at school, college or university—into different careers, both in the Air Force itself and in other science, technology, engineering and maths areas.

It would be remiss of us not to talk about what the Royal Air Force is doing today. As we are in this House, the Royal Air Force continuously stands vigilant to protect our skies here in the United Kingdom, but it is also taking our fight to our enemies abroad—Daesh in Iraq and Syria. The RAF has been using its skills to strike and eliminate that threat by combining precision-guided weaponry with unparalleled surveillance, intelligence gathering and surveillance capabilities; flying at the highest operational tempo for over a quarter of a century; and striking more than 1,750 times. The RAF has played a pivotal role in bringing Daesh to its knees and significantly reducing its influence across the world. People sometimes think that the campaigns that the RAF is fighting are very far away from here and maybe do not have a relevance to the United Kingdom, but by dealing with that threat in Iraq and Syria, the RAF is keeping the streets of Great Britain safer.