On Thursday 30 November 2017 the new Secretary of State for Defence, The Right Honourable Gavin Williamson CBE MP, visited Royal Air Force Coningsby. The Minister visited the Station in order to increase his knowledge of the service and to hear experiences first-hand from personnel.
During the tour the Minister was shown the Typhoon, Sentinel and A400M Atlas aircraft by personnel who have deployed with them, on Operation SHADER in the Middle East, and on hurricane relief operations in the Caribbean.
Secretary of State in a Typhoon Cockpit
Secretary of State also toured the Typhoon Maintenance Facility, meeting RAF and BAE Systems engineers who jointly operate the facility as part of the TyTAN support contract.
Secretary of State with BAE Systems personnel
The visit concluded with a tour of the Typhoon Training Facility where pilots are instructed how to fly, and then to exploit the capability of the world-class aircraft using state of the art simulators.
The Minister said:
“My visit today to RAF Coningsby showed that our Air Force is in great shape for the next 100 years with state of the art equipment, a dedicated team and strong connections with industry.
"It was great to meet with personnel who are keeping Britain safe by defending the skies of the UK and working with our NATO allies to defeat evil Daesh in Iraq and Syria.”
Inside the A400M cockpit
On the visit the Minister was escorted by RAF Coningsby Station Commander, Group Captain Mike Baulkwill.
Station Commander said:
“I was delighted to welcome the Secretary of State to Royal Air Force Coningsby today. I very much appreciated the opportunity to introduce the Minister to our people, and enable him to hear first-hand their experiences; whether that is on operations against Daesh in the Middle East or maintaining the vital role of Quick Reaction Alert here in the UK, the Falkland Islands and with our NATO partners in Eastern Europe.”
Secretary of State engaging with RAF personnel
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