Coningsby

‘Our air force is in great shape’: New Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson tours RAF Coningsby

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New Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has claimed that the air force is in great shape “for the next 100 years” after visiting RAF Coningsby.

The Conservative MP for South Staffordshire, who replaced Michael Fallon after his resignation for alleged inappropriate sexual behaviour, was given a tour of the base on Thursday, November 30.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson in the cockpit of a Typhoon

The Defence Secretary was shown the Typhoon, Sentinel and A400M Atlas aircraft by personnel who have been deployed with them, on Operation SHADER in the Middle East, and on hurricane relief operations in the Caribbean.

He also toured the Typhoon Maintenance Facility, meeting RAF and BAE Systems engineers who jointly operate the facility as part of the TyTAN support contract.

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 Defence Secretary speaking to personnel at RAF Coningsby

Gavin Williamson said: “My visit 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.”

The Defence Secretary leaving the A400M

RAF Coningsby station commander Mike Baulkwill added: “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.”