Air Vice-Marshal Greg Bagwell, commander of the RAF’s No 1 Group, which controls all Britain’s fast jet combat aircraft, said that Britain was likely to end up with only six fighter and bomber squadrons, half its current number.Read the rest here.
He warned: “That might not be quite enough.”
Air Vice-Marshal Bagwell’s remarks, in a briefing last week to Defense News, a trade journal, are among the most outspoken by any senior RAF commander.
He warned that even the reductions that have been publicly announced — from 12 fast-jet squadrons to eight — would leave the RAF only “just about” able to do its current tasks, with no leeway for the unexpected.
“Am I happy to be down at that number [eight squadrons] next April? No, it worries the hell out of me,” he said. “I can just about do Operation Herrick [Afghanistan], and the QRAs [air defence operations]. Can I do other things? Yes, but it is at risk.”