Royal Air Force Hawk pilot from 208 Squadron walks away from his aircraft to a post sortie debrief at RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales 040112 CREDIT MOD.jpg
RAF

RAF Valley Defends Decision To Continue Training During Lockdown

The RAF base in Wales said: "The Typhoon Force needs more pilots from Valley which is why we must continue to operate.”

Royal Air Force Hawk pilot from 208 Squadron walks away from his aircraft to a post sortie debrief at RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales 040112 CREDIT MOD.jpg

RAF Valley has defended its decision to continue training Britain's next generation of fighter pilots during the coronavirus lockdown.

The base, on the island of Anglesey in Wales, said it is taking advice from the Government "extremely seriously" and is following a number of measures, including social distancing.

"Every single aspect of working at RAF Valley has been reviewed and many procedures amended, in order to take into account social distancing and other public health measures," RAF Valley said in a statement.

It added that hand washing facilities have been made available across the site and that there are only "very few occasions" when personnel may be required to get within two metres of one another, such as on-site fire and ambulance crews responding to an emergency.

The base said it has also "dramatically reduced" the number of people coming in to work.

When possible, people are working from home and split shifts have also been introduced.

"Right now, RAF Valley trained pilots are defending the skies of the United Kingdom in Typhoons on Quick Reaction Alert at RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth," the base said.

"The Typhoon Force needs more pilots from Valley which is why we must continue to operate.”

A sign at the entrance of RAF Valley (Picture: PA).

It comes after Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said important military training could resume before the lockdown is eased.

"There are things that we know we are going to need in six months' time, in a years' time, that if we are not training for them now, we cannot hope to have that capability which we need to keep our nation safe next year," he said.

The UK is in its seventh week of lockdown, but last week, the Prime Minister said the country was "past the peak" of COVID-19.

An exit plan is expected in the next week.

Cover image: Library picture (Picture: MOD).