RAF Valley based 208(R) Squadron has successfully completed Exercise Tartan Sphinx, a week long detachment to RAF Lossiemouth.

Exercise Tartan Sphinx consisted of 6 Hawk T1’s deploying to complete low level tactical training as part of the simulated attack phase of the trainee fast jet pilots’ tactical weapons course. All whilst operating from - and flying in - an unfamiliar location. The students flew a total of 74 sorties in the 6 day detachment, a testament to the high serviceability rate of the Hawk T1 and the support of the squadron’s Babcock engineers.

In addition to the flying, 208(R) Sqn made the most of the Scottish highlands and conducted several force development and adventure training events, including mountain biking, sailing and – of course – golf! The squadron also took the time to remember fallen comrades by paying their respects at the Califer Viewpoint Memorial, established to honour the two former 208(R) Sqn students killed in the Moray Firth Tornado crash in 2012. Whilst not flying, the students and staff were ably hosted by 6 Sqn, who gave them a flavour of what the Tranche 2 Typhoon is capable of - and for some a look to the future after their advanced fast jet training at RAF Valley.

Wg Cdr Chris Kidd, OC 208 (R) Sqn said “The training benefit is invaluable for the students coming through 208(R) Sqn. In the very near future, these pilots will be flying on operations either supporting Op Shader over Iraq or conducting Air Policing with our NATO partners under Op Azotize. The experience gained on detachments such as this really broadens our students and shows them what is in store post flying training. The support from RAF Lossiemouth has been outstanding and has certainly helped to make the detachment such a success”.

Editor: Sqn Ldr Dave Williams/Flt Lt Geraint Kingman

Photos: RAF Valley and RAF Lossiemouth Photo Sections

MOD/Crown Copyright

This article first appeared on the RAF Valley Website.

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