MPs say the MoD needs to be more open about its use of unmanned aerial drones if it is to build public confidence in their operations
The UK's first remotely piloted air system is launched at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. They will operate armed drones over Afghanistan.
The RAF Waddington International Air Show
The Mayor of Lincoln braved the rain today to watch staff from RAF Waddington march 55 years to the day since they were first granted freedom of the city.
Cllr. Pat Vaughan told Calendar the people of Lincoln should be proud of their local base:
Lincoln was treated to an RAF parade this morning as the Waddington base celebrated 55 years since being granted the freedom of the city.
A flypast had to be cancelled because of the weather, but it didn't put off hundreds who gathered to watch:
RAF Waddington exercised its right to the freedom of Lincoln this morning - with a parade through the city.
Hundreds of people lined the streets in the pouring rain to see the freedom parade return for the first time in four years, to celebrate it's fifty fifth anniversary.
A planned flypast had to be called off because of the weather but that wasn't enough to dampen the spirits.
Group Captain Rich Barrow, the Station Commander for RAF Waddington told ITV Calendar News that history seems to have repeated itself.
RAF Waddington will exercise its right to the Freedom of Lincoln today, marking the occasion with a parade 55 years to the day since the Station was granted the Freedom of the City by the City Council.
The Freedom of the City, in military terms, is an honour conferred by a city council upon a military unit, which grants the unit the privilege of marching into the city, “with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed.”
The honour is usually bestowed upon local regiments in recognition of their dedicated service, and it is common for military units to periodically exercise their Freedom by arranging a parade through the city.
The attacks by soldiers in Lincolnshire operating planes three and a half thousand miles away in Afghanistan need to be less secretive according to a new government report into the UK's use of armed drones.
Campaigners argue controllers at RAF Waddington are dangerously detached from reality,. But MPs say remotely-operated aircraft keep our service personnel away from the battlefield. Emma Wilkinson reports.
The Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear disarmament says pilots operating armed drones thousands of miles away are too removed from the realities of war, which leads to unnecessary deaths.
But the House of Commons Defence Committee said in its report today that pilots are fully aware of the gravity of their actions:
The Chair of the Defence Select Committee is calling for more pilots of drones, which are operated from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. The aircraft has been praised for its work in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A spy plane from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire is to carry out reconnaissance flights over Poland and Romania as part of NATO's monitoring of the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine.
The AWAK jet, which has a single pilot, will be part of the NATO monitoring team being deployed in response to the incursion by Russian troops into the Crimea region of Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defence is investing £35 million to re-build the runway at RAF Waddington which they say will extend the runway’s operational life by a further 25 years.
Re-building and extending the runway is the first major upgrade work carried out at the base since the 1960s.
Work starts in July and is expected to be completed by late summer 2015. During the rebuild period the stations aircraft will temporarily relocate to alternative operating bases across the County.