Prime Minister David Cameron has said the RAF is not just important to the nation's security, it is "completely and utterly essential".
Speaking at a graduation ceremony at RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire, David Cameron said the Government will never compromise the nation’s security and said changes across the armed forces will strengthen them for the future.
The PM said:
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, our fighters are standing ready to launch to protect UK air space.
I know that, I get those telephone calls each and every time there’s a plane in UK air space that we don’t know about.
The Prime Minister made the speech after inspecting the officer cadets at RAF Cranwell. He watched a flypast by the Red Arrows and presented annual prizes including the Sword of Honour, the International Sword of Honour and the Queen’s Medal.
Mr Cameron, who is the third Prime Minister to visit RAF Cranwell, told the graduates the RAF would remain a “formidable and world-class air force”.
Following his visit to RAF Cranwell, the PM held a PM Direct event at Co-Op pharmacy’s headquarters in nearby Lincoln, where he took questions from around 200 workers in a warehouse.