Harriett Baldwin MP writes for the Observer
LAST month, I was invited to the opening of the new museum at Croome Court celebrating the achievements of the people who lived and worked at RAF Defford during the Second World War. The museum is a fitting tribute to those who developed the technology to help defeat the Nazis. Technology like radar, microwaves and automatic landing capability. The world’s first landing by automatic pilot happened at Defford in 1945.
British technology is also being deployed by RAF bombers in Iraq, as part of the coalition’s attacks on ISIL. For example, the UK is the only country with the cutting-edge Brimstone missile, which all but eliminates collateral damage on civilians.
I am sure you have all, like me, been shocked and appalled by the stories of horrific violence against minority groups including Yazidis, Christian and Shia Muslims across the region as well as the brutal murder of our own citizens. It is clear to me that as a nation we must help in the efforts to stand up to ISIL, as our forefathers committed to standing up to Nazi atrocities in Europe.
But as we commit to supporting the international coalition fighting the rise of this terrorist movement, it is important to acknowledge that our local scientists and engineers are still working hard, developing technologies to help give us the advantage in time of conflict. Smart weaponry like the latest Brimstone missile would not be possible without the innovations developed in Worcestershire over seven decades.
And last week some of the brightest minds in the country came together in Malvern for the Festival of Innovation. By sharing ideas, we can deliver a platform for greater technical advances and maintain the reputation of Malvern and Worcestershire as a hotbed of innovation.
I hope that those who attended the Festival will take time to visit the Museum and remember the efforts of those men and women who worked so tirelessly decades ago at RAF Defford, and in Malvern, and are inspired to help keep Britain strong, not just through the efforts of our troops serving abroad, but also through our brilliant brains at home.