You, the good people of Thame, have recognised the significant role that those who serve in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces play at home, and abroad.

It is a proud moment in any RAF Station’s history to receive The Freedom of Entry. It shows the close ties between a military unit and the support they receive from the communities they live and work amongst. You, the good people of Thame, have recognised the significant role that those who serve in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces play at home, and abroad. It is only with the strong support of the public that units like RAF Halton are able to operate effectively, knowing that what they do is so valued by those whom they serve.

Today marks the recognition of RAF Halton, which has been part of the local community here since the formation of the RAF in 1918. It is predominantly a training base, preparing those who join the RAF for many and varied roles across the world; ensuring that they receive the very best instruction to maintain the excellence and professionalism that you can see on parade here today. They also deploy many personnel on operations abroad – Afghanistan being the most demanding.

As you can see on the chests of many of those here today, there is a great wealth of operational and service experience which we have an opportunity to celebrate with pride at this special event. So, as Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Halton, it gives me enormous pleasure to accept The Freedom of Entry to Thame on their behalf. I would like to thank everyone who has gone to such lengths to make today so successful and I am sure that this ceremony marks the start of a close and enduring relationship between the Station and the town. Long may that continue!