In what the Service itself calls “a proud moment,” the RAF Regiment has announced today that it will open combat positions such as gunner and officer to women. Applications for women to join the RAF Regiment in close combat roles will now be accepted, in consequence of former Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement to do so in 2016. Service chiefs unanimously backed the decision, with present Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon saying in July that the RAF Regiment would be open to women from September, ahead of the original 2018 deadline, taunting the by now familiar, yet slightly Orwellian line:

A diverse force is a more operationally effective force.

Part of the Royal Air Force, the RAF Regiment functions as a specialist airfield defence corps and was founded in 1942. Its battlefield task is to prevent a successful enemy attack, or, failing that, to minimise damage, and ensure air operations can continue as quickly as possible after an attack on an RAF airfield. They also have a band.