#SP191 RAF Valley
Purchased products will not feature the Squadron Prints watermark
RAF Valley opened in February 1941 as part of 9 Group, Fighter Command. Initially home to Hurricanes, Defiants, Beaufighters and then Mosquitos, the squadrons stationed here were responsible for destroying numerous enemy aircraft in defence of the United Kingdom. RAF Valley’s first association with air/sea rescue was in late 1941 when 275 Squadron was formed with Walrus and Lysander aircraft. The Mountain Rescue Service (MRS) originally formed at RAF Llandwrog (now Caernarfon airport) in August 1943 for the rescue of aircrew who crashed or abandoned their aircraft in remote, inaccessible mountainous areas; RAF Valley now hosts both the MRS HQ and one of the three MR Teams (MRT). While they are rarely required to rescue downed aircrew anymore, the MRS remains the RAF’s highest readiness Aircraft Post Crash Management team and is often called to assist its civilian counterparts rescue climbers and hillwalkers. After the War, RAF Valley became a training airfield and in 1951 No 202 Advanced Flying School was formed here with the purpose of training pilots to fly jet aircraft. There have been many changes but this role continues today with No 4 Flying Training School training pilots from the RAF, RN and International Defence Training in Advanced Flying Training in the Hawk T Mk 1 operated by 208(R) Squadron and the Hawk T Mk 2 operated by IV(R) Squadron. RAF Valley will continue to be a key base for the future of the UK Military Flying Training System. RAF Valley is also home to ‘C’ Flight of 22 Squadron, one of two RAF Search and Rescue (SAR) Squadrons operating Sea King helicopters. ‘C’ Flight conducts SAR operations and training over the Irish Sea, Snowdonia and further afield. The SAR Force HQ is based at RAF Valley as is the Sea King Mk3/3a simulator. The Defence Helicopter Flying School’s Search and Rescue Training Unit (SARTU) is also at RAF Valley, training crews from the UK Military, civilian helicopter agencies and Foreign Governments in a wide range of techniques in the mountains and over water. Additionally, civilian flights operate from RAF Valley (Anglesey Airport) on behalf of the Welsh Assembly, operated by Links Air. To enable the spectrum of current activity, RAF Valley finds itself the leading edge of the ‘whole force’ concept and working closely with partners such as Ascent, Babcock, BAE Systems, Cobham and SERCO.