Valley welcomes Minister

The Ascent team at RAF Valley were delighted to help welcome James Cartlidge, the Minister for Defence Procurement, to the site, to see for himself how recent investment is impacting the training of the next generation of fighter pilots.

The Minister was hosted by Air Commodore Ian Sharrocks, Head of Flying Training, and Group Captain Matt Hoare, Station Commander at RAF Valley.

He spoke to trainee pilots undergoing Basic Flying Training on the Texan aircraft, along with local apprentices being trained by Babcock. He was also keen to see how new investments – such as the £175m for the new Texan training facility and the £600m invested in Hawk T1 and T2 engineering maintenance – were making a positive difference to both trainee skills and jobs in Anglesey.

The Minister said: “Everything I witnessed at RAF Valley underscored its and the wider RAF’s commitment to delivering first class fighter pilots for the front-line. Recent £175m investment in a new Texan training facility as well as the £600m boost for Hawk engineering support, will strengthen this endeavour even further, supporting Anglesey’s economic prospects and delivering opportunities ranging from engineering apprenticeships to fast jet and rotary aircrew.”

Ascent’s General Manager at Valley, Andy Cooper, added: “The Minister had the chance to view the impact of UKMFTS investment capability through Ascent as the Training Partner. He was able to see at first hand the ROI deployed at RAF Valley, with state-of-the-art GBTE and our QFIs /QIs and wider support teams, who enable the delivery of training excellence to future front line air crew in the UK and to overseas partners.

“Continued investment in our Military Training Program is essential and the wider social-economic benefits cannot be underestimated in the North Wales region. With the current geo-political hot spots we see around the world, further investment in technology is critical.“

All images: Crown Copyright