The incredible history and high-flying heroes of the Royal Air Force were celebrated at the Scottish Parliament last night at a reception marking the RAF’s 100th anniversary.
The Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh MSP hosted the event and was joined by the Chief of the Air Staff, members of the RAF and air cadets from all across Scotland to mark the RAF’s centenary.
The reception is part of a year of UK-wide celebrations called ‘RAF100’, which recognise the achievements of the air force spanning from the Battle of Britain to modern-day operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. It also encourages young people to boost their STEM skills and consider cutting-edge careers in aviation, aerospace and cyberspace in the future.
The Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, said:
“It was fantastic to celebrate this very special milestone in the RAF’s history with members of the Royal Air Force and air cadets from all across Scotland this week.
“While these centenary celebrations provide an important opportunity to recognise the rich history of the RAF, I hope they will also inspire the next generation and encourage them to become the brightest and best engineers, scientists and mathematicians of the future.”
Air Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC, Chief of the Air Staff, said:
"This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force. Scotland has always been a vital part of the RAF’s story, and that continues today, not least through its excellent links with the Scottish Parliament.
“Our goal with RAF100 is to commemorate, celebrate and inspire. I can think of no better place to help promote these themes in Scotland than here, especially our focus on encouraging young people to develop their talents and realise their aspirations.
“As the tragic events of last week have reminded us, we can never take for granted the risks that our men and women take in the service of their country. The Royal Air Force looks back with pride to the achievements and courage demonstrated by its people throughout its first 100 years; and looks forward to a second century of similar success, delivered by outstanding people drawn from every part of our diverse society."