New building boosts training capabilities

The opening of a new building extension at RAF Valley is heralding fresh economic investment in the Anglesey area, while helping Ascent boost training capabilities for the military aircrew of the future.

The new Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) building is part of a £175m investment by the MOD into Ascent’s delivery of basic flight training within UKMFTS, the UK’s military flying training system.

Ascent’s industry partners from Babcock International and Kier have extended existing infrastructure to house new simulators, additional instructors and other facilities for basic flying training, to enable an uplift in training capacity. Alongside this, the existing facility has been upgraded to provide increased mission planning capacity and improved facilities for trainees, instructors and other staff.

The SDSR building will house a Texan dome simulator, a flying training device built by Lockheed Martin, scheduled to arrive at RAF Valley later this year. The SDSR project is designed to increase basic flight training throughput of trainee pilots by almost 50%, reinforcing our commitment to providing global turnkey training solutions.

Virginia Crosbie, MP for Ynys Môn, formally opened the building, before taking a guided tour of the new facilities.

Ms Crosbie said: “RAF Valley is a huge part of the island community and to invest £175m into it has widespread benefit across the island, not just in jobs and skills, but in other areas like retail and services. Anglesey remains a crucial part of our defence as we invest to safeguard our skies. Nothing highlights this more than expanded pilot training in these uncertain times.”

Ascent General Manager at RAF Valley, Jonathan Cowdry, said: “It was a pleasure to host the formal opening of this facility and to be a part of the continued investment in the military flying training system, supporting the generation of employment and other opportunities on Ynys Môn.”

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