The British presence on Malta is drawing to a close after 170 years. On Thursday?
The British presence on Malta is drawing to a close after 170 years. On Thursday (28 September), the Royal Air Force held their last Parade and review.
SYNOPSIS: The British Air Force became attached to Malta as early as when the activity of German submarines increased in the Mediterranean. In May 1915, German submarines sank two British battleships in the Dardanelles, and Britain was firmly committed to maintaining fighting forces in the area. Air Chief Marshal Sir David Evans reviewed the Parade, which was held at Luqa air base. Sir David is the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Strike Command, and Commander in Chief United Kingdom Air Forces. His main experience has been in the European theatre with special responsibility for NATO affairs. It was a touching moment. Associations between England and Malta go back to the Crusades, when English knights rested there on their way to the Holy Land. Thirteen Squadron, comprising Canberra Bombers, is the last of the many Air Force units to use the island.
A highlight of the Parade was a display by the world-famous British Air Force Red Arrows.
The flag comes down for the last time. Britain finally quits the island on Tuesday (3 October), but the ghosts of hundreds of thousands of Brittons who passed this way linger on. Now the question is - who will move in to replace the British presence...the Russians or the Americans? Both these Superpowers set great store by flying the flag in the Mediterranean.