I don't understand why the UK Ministry of Defence has been making a big deal about 1) flying a 3000 mile round trip to bomb Libyan targets, and 2) aborting the mission when they got there due to finding civilians in the target area. How does it make sense to fly these missions out of Norfolk?
If the fly them out of Cyprus or other base in the Med surely the could fly 2 or 3 sorties in the same time it takes to fly one from the UK. Also, when they have to abort due to civilians in the area, the could easily be re-deployed to another target because they don't have to worry about their tanker support reserving fuel for a 1500 mile journey home.
Has the RAF been stripped down that much that they can't send a squadron of Tornadoes to Cyprus?
And what about the Typhoons? How come the latest and greatest Eurofighter (which is actually a 20 year old design) isn't being used by the RAF in a ground attack capability?
Of course, the Royal Navy could have contributed a bit more if they hadn't have made the decision to scrap the Harriers before delivery of the new Joint Strike Fighters. Kind of makes a mockery of Strategic Defence Planning.
EoR (End of Rant)
Update: The RAF have now moved a squadron to Italy - BBC