Counter ISIL operations airbase opens new runway

RAF Akrotiri, Britain’s main airbase for operations against ISIL, has official opened its newly renovated runway, improving its ability to combat threats to national security.

The 21 month, £46 million project has now secured RAF Akrotiri, on the southern tip of Britain’s Sovereign Base Area on the island of Cyprus, as a first class operating base.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Defence, the investment means that the base will continue to support the full complement of current and future RAF aircraft, and those of the UK’s coalition partners.

The MoD also cited that the RAF played a leading role in the coalition against ISIL during the campaign, striking over 1200 Daesh targets. Engineers completed the work around the intense pace of air operations, with the RAF working at the highest operational tempo in 25 years.

Mike Penning, minister for the Armed Forces, said: “This project has taken a tired and battered runway and transformed it into a modern, safe, 21st Century facility, capable of supporting operations for the next 20 years and beyond.

“This has been a unique and remarkable achievement. RAF Akrotiri is not just a refuelling spot or training base. This airfield matters. It has been at the forefront of supporting our most important military operations over the last decade and more, including the current campaign against ISIL.”

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