Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to the work of the UK’s armed services as he examined a Spitfire, a Typhoon and other war planes at RAF Coningsby today (July 13).
Mr Cameron flew into the drizzly RAF base by helicopter - after stopping off at RAF Waddington - and told officers and airmen it was a fitting time to pay tribute to them following the weekend’s Battle of Britain commemoration.
In a hangar full of vintage and modern aircraft, he told around 100 RAF personnel: “It really does give me huge pleasure to come here today and say a very big thank you.
“It also gives me the opportunity to pay tribute to the skills, the courage and the bravery and professionalism that you all have.
“And it’s a particularly good moment to do that as you all did so much over the weekend to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
“I think the whole country felt a huge sense of pride and ownership when those Spitfires accompanied by the Typhoon, beautifully dressed up in Battle of Britain livery, flew over our capital city.”
The Prime Minister said: “And it’s a reminder of what that was all about.
“It was all about huge courage and professionalism. It was all about recognising that without strong defences you have nothing as a country.
“And it was all about also recognising that modern technology - in this case the Spitfire - was absolutely key to saving our whole country.”
Mr Cameron was shown the Spitfire and Hurricane, from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which were in the giant hangar with the modern Typhoons and a Tornado.
He also toured an E-3D Sentry aircraft and was told about its surveillance and command-and-control functions by the crew.