British Military Aviation in 1968

4 January
McDonnell Douglas hand over the first F4K Phantom for service with the
Royal Navy at St Louis in Missouri.

16 January
Sweeping defence cuts are announced, including the cancellation of 50
General Dynamics F111s previously ordered for the Royal Air Force (RAF).
British forces were to be withdrawn from the Far East and Persian Gulf
by December 1971. The phasing-out of the Royal Navy carrier fleet was
to be accelerated, speeding up the transfer of the Fleet Air Arm’s fixed-wing
aircraft to the RAF. The run-down of RAF personnel was also to be accelerated.

31 March
The Royal Air Force ‘Clutch’ station at Geilenkirchen is handed over to
the Luftwaffe.

30 April
RAF Bomber and Fighter Commands were combined to form RAF Strike Command.
The first Air Officer Commanding, Strike Command was Air Chief Marshal
Sir Wallace Kyle.

1 June
RAF Flying Training and Technical Training Commands are merged into a revived
RAF Training Command.

14 June
A Royal Review of the Royal Air Force is conducted by Queen Elizabeth II
at RAF Abingdon to mark the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Service.

20 August

Following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia on this date, Royal Air
Force Germany was placed on a high state
of readiness to guard against
the possibility of a Soviet assault on West Germany.

28 November
RAF Strike Command absorbed RAF Coastal Command, with the latter becoming
No.18 (Maritime) Group within the new Command.