RAF Timeline 2000-2009
Back to 1990-99
Feb 26 and 26 Mar 2000 Operation Barwood in which the RAF delivered over 32,000 tons of supplies to earthquake region in Mozambique.
10 September 2000 A hostage rescue operation in Sierra Leone involved the Royal Air Force with Hercules and Chinooks being deployed into action. Eleven members of the British Army's Royal Irish Regiment led by Major Alan Marshall and their Sierra Leone Army liaison officer, Lieutenant Mousa Bangura were held hostage by an armed rebel group known as the West Side Boys led by Foday Kallay.
21 August 2001 Saw the closure of RAF Brüggen the last RAF Station in RAF Germany. The decision to remove all RAF assets from Germany was taken in 1996 as a result of the Strategic Defence Review. Number 17 Squadron disbanded on 31 March 1999 and began the gradual drawdown of the base. Number 14 Sqn relocated to RAF Lossiemouth in January 2001. A formal ceremony on 15 June officially ended a continuous RAF presence in Germany since World War II and all of the remaining Tornados had left for RAF Marham by 4 September 2001.
October 2001 United Kingdom Operations Veritas and Fingal were launched against Taliban forces in Afghanistan. This theatre remains a major element of of RAF commitment, now under the banner of Operation Herrick and via 904 Expeditionary Air Wing.
20 March to 9 April 2003 The UN declared Iraq in breach of a series of resolutions and the scene was set for what became the Second Gulf War. In what is called Operation Telic, the RAF flew 2,519 sorties, 1,353 of which were offensive strikes. Baghdad was overun and on 9 April 2003, the famous imagery of the statue of Saddam Hussein toppling was beamed across the world. Telic remains a major element of RAF commitment to this day under 903 Expeditionary Air Wing.
1 April 2004 No 1115 Flight announced, based at Indian Springs, Nevada, and flying the General Atomics Predator unmanned air vehicle. Embedded as part of the USAF's 15th Reconnaissance Wing, RAF crews were using the facility to train up on UAVs. On 3 January 2007 this Flight was redesignated as 39 Squadron 'A' Flight.
31 March 2006 Marked the start of a new era for the RAF as the first operational Typhoon squadron, No. 3(Fighter) Squadron, formed at RAF Cottesmore, just a day before the Royal Air Force marked its 88th Anniversary.
1 April 2007 Air Command came into existence with the combination of Strike Command and Personnel and Training Command. The Headquarter which is located at High Wycombe (the old Bomber Command Headquarters) is run by Air Chief Marshal Sir Clive Loader.
26 April 2007 After 33 years the Jaguar was retired from service. In July 2004 MoD announced the Jaguar would reach the end of its distinguished service during 2007. The ageing Jaguar was replaced by the much more capable multi-role Typhoon aircraft, with the Tornado fleet taking on the bulk of the Jaguar's air-to-ground role.
29 June 2007 Typhoon, the RAF's newest and most capable fast jet aircraft, took on readiness to respond to any aircraft acting suspiciously or intruding illegally into UK airspace. Typhoon F2s took on their first operational duties when they assumed responsibility for the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) element of UK air defence in the southern part of the country at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.
October 2007 39 Squadron 'B' Flight starts to operate Reaper in Afghanistan.
7 January 2008 The RAF has welcomed its latest Royal recruit, Flying Officer HRH William Wales, into the force as part of his preparations for his future role as King.
1 April 2008 The 90th anniversary of the Royal Air Force is celebrated throughout the world.
July 2008 RAF's Typhoon Force was declared operational as a Multi-Role fighter force.
May 2009 Last Tornado GR4 Mission over Iraq.
August 2009 Henry Allingham, founder member of the RAF, died and was buried with full military honours.
December 2009 MOD announced that 22 new Chinook helicopters will increase the RAF's fleet, as part of a £900m package for operations in Afghanistan.
Forward to 2010 and present