During an event at the Runnymede Memorial the Chief of the Air Staff joined Her majesty the Queen today in commemorating 100 years of the Royal Australian Air Force.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston KCB CBE ADC represented the RAF held at the Air Forces memorial in Surrey at a small ceremony that was conducted in line with extant COVID-19 regulations.
Describing the significance of the event, ACM Wigston said:
The event was attended by the Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency the Honourable George Brandis QC who was joined by representatives of the RAAF serving alongside RAF colleagues on exchange. At the start of the ceremony the RAF Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, overflew the event.
Runnymede Memorial or the Air Forces Memorial, as it is sometimes known, commemorates the 20,456 men & women from Britain & the Dominions, who lost their lives in WWII and have no known grave. It is positioned on Cooper’s Hill, Surrey overlooking the River Thames and Runnymede Meadow, where the Magna Carta was sealed by King John in 1215.
Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows showcase the excellence of the RAF and represent the United Kingdom both at home and overseas. The team consists of 11 pilots, nine of whom fly in the display, and more than 100 support personnel and technicians.
Each of the pilots has previous fast-jet, operational experience flying the Tornado, Typhoon or Harrier, enabling the RAF to secure the skies and protect the nation and its interests, 365-days a year. One of the world’s premier aerobatic teams, the Red Arrows had completed nearly 5,000 displays, in 57 countries, by the beginning of 2019. Flying Hawk T1 jets, the team is based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.