The RAF Eighty Years on from the Battle of Britain

ARLINGTON, VA (July 2, 2020) — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Mitchell Forum short paper series, “The RAF Eighty Years on from the Battle of Britain” by Kevin Billings. He is an Honorary Group Captain in the Royal Air Force and a member of 601 (County of London) Squadron, as well as a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Power. He was appointed by President George W. Bush as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health, and later served as Assistant Secretary for Installations, Environment and Logistics.

With the anniversary of the Battle of Britain upon us, reflecting on that time 80 years ago and where we are today, the similarities between the Royal Air Force of 1940 and that of 2020 are striking. It is worth considering that now, as then, control of the air—and today space—remains the vital enabler of everything the total force does. Now, as it was in during the Battle of Britain, the RAF is not the largest nor the most powerful air force in the world, but it is a world-class integrated, capable, and comprehensive air force delivering decisive effects across all domains, and its significance should not be underestimated. As Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery observed, “If we lose the war in the air, we lose the war, and we lose it quickly.”

The Forum presents innovative concepts and thought-provoking insight from aerospace experts here in the United States and across the globe. To afford publishing opportunities for thoughtful perspectives, the Forum provides high visibility to writing efforts spanning issues from technology and operational concepts to defense policy and strategy.

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