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Secretary of State for Defence visits RAF Valley

The Secretary of State for Defence visited RAF Valley recently to see the results of £775 million invested in state-of-the-art equipment to train the next generation of pilots.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps walking with Group Captain Hoare

The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP met flying instructors, student pilots and Engineers from BAE, Babcock and Ascent, and as a keen pilot himself also flew the Hawk T2 simulator on a low-level flight.

Defence Secretary chatting to personnel whilst sitting in an aircraft cockpit

“The sobering events taking place 1500 miles to the east of us, underscore the importance of RAF Valley’s work to both UK Defence and to our NATO Allies."

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said, "There is a real sense of purpose about this place, it is buzzing with activity and one quickly gains a sense that RAF Valley is fully connected to the front-line and committed to meeting future operational needs, in the form of producing first class, front-line fighter pilots of the highest quality, in the required quantity, and getting them where they are needed in a timely manner.

The new investments at Valley totalling £775 million - that are being directed into engineering support for Hawk and the new Texan training facility, will strengthen this endeavour. They also underline MoD and Government commitment to jobs and skills in North Wales; guaranteeing existing jobs and nurturing the next generation of Engineering apprentices - of which a great many are locally recruited.”

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps chats to group of personnel next to a helicopter on the runway

The Defence Secretary was visiting RAF Valley as part of a wider visit to North Wales. He was met by the RAF Head of Flying Training - Air Commodore Sharrocks, and the Station Commander RAF Valley - Group Captain Hoare.

Two personnel saluting, with an aircraft on the ground.

The Secretary of State was keen to witness how the RAF is training the next generation of fast jet pilots and also to assess for himself the impact of recent investment in flying training and the efforts to increase the throughput of pilots to the trained strength in a timely manner.