As the RAF prepares to mark a centenary in the air, one of its ground units is celebrating 75 years of saving lives. 

RAF Valley mountain rescue prepare for training

The RAF Mountain Rescue Service was formed during the Second World War when it became clear that bases near mountainous areas had to make their own arrangements when aircraft crashed and crew became stranded.

RAF Valley mountain rescue team on Snowdonia

There are three units across the UK, at RAF Valley, RAF Leeming and RAF Lossiemouth.

RAF Valley mountain rescue team climbing hill

The team at RAF Valley have been training in Snowdonia National Park. 

Member of RAF Valley mountain rescue team climbing Snowdonia

When it comes to maintaining their skills, Corporal Jason Roberts from RAF Valley says the team likes to take advantage of the weekends because the skies over Snowdonia are quieter.

 "There's limited flying so it gives us more opportunity to get some training in"

RAF Valley mountain rescue team prepares for exercise

The scenario for the exercise is that a walker in the hills has has fallen and hurt their leg. It's an incident can easily be real because many walkers set off without suitable clothing or equipment.

RAF Valley mountain rescue team with rope on Snowdonia

Corporal Roberts says they have to compensate by taking plenty of their own to deal with an emergency.

"On this sort of job we would carry 400 metres of rope, stretcher, all the medical kit, so quite a lot"

RAF Valley mountain rescue team with stretcher

As the RAF marks 75 years of mountain rescue, dozens of aircrew and civilians owe their lives to the efforts of Flight Lieutenant Graham who pushed for the service during the Second World War.

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