Strategic Air Command in the United Kingdom: Evolution and Implications

12 November 2018

No.4 Hamilton Place, London


18:00 - 19:00

This Historical Lecture will be presented by Dr Robert S Hopkins lll, a second-generation SAC pilot.

Between 1946 and 1992, Strategic Air Command (SAC) maintained a highly visible operational presence in the United Kingdom, including a nuclear capable bomber force, air refuelling assets, and strategic reconnaissance platforms.

Despite claims to the contrary, SAC did not have a 'free hand' in treating England as its private 'aircraft carrier', and was instead routinely constrained to comport with British policy goals. This symbiotic relationship generally served the interests of both sides while meeting Western national security requirements throughout the Cold War.

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Speaker Details

Dr Robert S Hopkins lll

Dr Robert S Hopkins lll is a second-generation SAC pilot; his father flew B-47s from bases in the UK, and Robert flew KC 135s, EC-135s, and RC-135s, including combat reconnaissance missions during Operation DESERT STORM. He wrote the highly acclaimed Crécy edition of Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker: More Than a Tanker, as well as Spyflights and Overflights: The Early Years, 1945-1960, Boeing B-47 Stratojet: SAC's Transitional Bomber, and the forthcoming SAC in the UK: Strategic Air Command Operations 1946-1992. He earned a PhD in US and Soviet Cold War national security policy from the University of Virginia.


No.4 Hamilton Place, London

Royal Aeronautical Society Headquarters

No.4 Hamilton Place