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2017/11

IV(R) Sqn Hawk T2

IV(R) Sqn Hawk T2

Winter is coming…or is it? Autumn is upon us and the bleak windy winter of RAF Valley is looming, however with temperatures in the high teens and blue skies today you might be forgiven for thinking of the French Riviera rather than the Anglesey coast…but then again we did have an (ex) hurricane pass through a couple of days ago…

It has been a challenging couple of months for Happy IV(R) Sqn, with a significant electrical fault identified at the start of September leading to a short pause in flying activity, and subsequent rectification work on the aircraft having an effect on the flying rate. With our partners from the engineering side at BAe Systems working especially hard to deliver as many aircraft as possible each day, and contractual work going on in the background to address some potential pinch points in aircraft serviceability, things are starting to recover and improve. The difficulties we are in the process of solving have become more apparent due to the required growth of pilot output from 4 Flying Training School.This is due to the desired growth in the Royal Air Force front line Fast Jet community brought about by the last Strategic Defence and Security Review. As we grow at Valley and solve these problems, we will ultimately become more robust as an organisation, and better able to handle the challenges of the future – so it’s not all doom and gloom!

The biggest news of the last few weeks has been the return to flying operations from our newly refurbished long runway here at RAF Valley – now that the students are completely settled into short runway operations it was about time we shook things up a little, or else they’ll get complacent (and better than their instructors…?). Again this represents a significant challenge that has been overcome by the station as a whole, and serves to make us safer and more robust in generating qualified Fast Jet pilots to deliver to their front line Operational Conversion Units.

The Station and Squadron hosted the former Defence Secretary, Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon KCB MP who formally accepted the new runway back into RAF hands. Mighty IV(R) Squadron have also travelled as far afield as Malta and Scampton in September in support of two airshows to showcase our work here at Valley to the public as the airshow season draws to a close. The general business of the Squadron has still been progressing, with the majority of course 21 having now finished the long simulator slog of B Flight and ready to progress on to the Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit of 29(R) Squadron (or perhaps if they are good enough, they might stay on at Valley to join the legendary Creamie fraternity, who can say?). In addition, Wg Cdr Simmons, Lt Pocock and Fit Lt Bowman have completed their QFI training, and can finally be put to good use around the place, and about time too! Our congratulations go to all. The Squadron has also waved goodbye to Lt “Ozzy” Al Rushood who has returned to Kuwait to fly the F18 having graduated from A Flight; our best wishes go with him as he heads home after 5 years of UK flying training! The Squadron is gearing up for the graduation for Course 21, planned night flying operations and just coming onto the horizon are the traditional seasonal parties which we are all looking forward to.

In Futurum Videre