13 Oct The First Student Pilot Graduates from BFT at Valley
History was made at RAF Valley recently with the first student pilot graduating from Basic Flying Training in the new Texan T1 aircraft. RAF Valley is now home to two-thirds of fast jet pilot training for the RAF and RN.
First up is Basic Flying Training in the new Texan T1 with 72 Squadron, followed by Advanced Jet Training in the Hawk T2. The first graduate from Texan was Flt Lt Matt Kenealy RAF. Officer Commanding No.72 Squadron, Wing Commander Chris Ball said: “The purpose of today’s 72 Squadron is to train fighter pilots. It is thus a huge milestone to have our first student complete the course. For Matt, this means he will be awarded his wings but for our whole force team this validates the systems we’ve built. We’ve learnt a lot and will continue to refine the course, but this really is the culmination of a huge effort and I’m excited to see how Matt now gets on flying the Hawk T2.” Flt Lt Kenealy and the rest of the first Texan course will be awarded their RAF and RN ‘Wings’ at a ceremony in November.
Iain Chalmers, Affinity Managing Director said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have supported 72 Squadron and MFTS in this significant milestone. This achievement reflects directly on the excellent Affinity team at RAF Valley, who have overcome some significant challenges this year and still continued to deliver to our customer”.
Images: SAC Britney Leather, RAF Valley Photo Section. Crown Copyright MOD 2020.