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News > Royal Air Force invites base personnel to Battle of Britain memorial celebration
Royal Air Force invites base personnel to Battle of Britain memorial celebration

Posted 10/1/2010   Updated 10/1/2010 Email story   Print story


from Staff Reports
379th AEW Public Affairs

10/1/2010 - SOUTHWEST ASIA -- 
Members of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, host nation Air Force and coalition partners are invited to join the Royal Air Force to remember the Battle of Britain during a memorial celebration here 5 p.m. Sunday.
The Battle of Britain was the Air war fought between the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) and the Royal Air Force between July and October of 1940. The Germans made an attempt to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force during the war. They believed that the RAF was close to collapse and that their Air campaign would be a swift prelude to Op Sea Lion, the invasion of Britain.
The Germans seriously underestimated the effectiveness of the Royal Air Force's layered defense of Britain. With early warning radar, tracking in depth with the Royal Observer Corps, centralized command and Control through group and sector control bunkers and finally decentralized execution at squadron level, a numerically superior attacking force was blocked and repeatedly beaten.
This early integrated air defense system is now widely adopted by air forces worldwide. As the summer months drew by, and with them the favorable weather required for the German's sea borne invasion plans, the Luftwaffe and Hitler recognized defeat.
The importance to the Royal Air Force for the Battle of Britain and why it is commemorated every year during September, to coincide with the height of the Battle, is epitomized by the famous quote from Sir Winston Churchill;
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few"
The 'so few' is often just thought of as the very young and often inexperienced aircrew, but the Royal Air Force, both then and now, recognizes the vital role played by all personnel in maintaining fighting efficiency and courageous spirit.
"The Battle of Britain was a key moment in history and 70 years ago the Royal Air Force stood alone against the might of the German Luftwaffe," said Ken McCann, Royal Air Force air commodore. "There is no doubt in my mind that the Battle of Britain was a turning point in modern times which delivered in part the freedoms that we all enjoy to this day."
"Above all we must remember the sacrifice of those who gave their lives during the Battle, but at the same time remember all those since and currently under arms in the service of their country who continue to make the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives in the face of the threats that we all face today, " he added.
Guests are invited to assemble for the ceremony beginning at 4:50 p.m. At the start of the ceremony, there will be a parade that begins at 5:05 p.m. It will be followed by opening remarks, dedication and prayer. For more information on location of the event and directions click here.

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