A DECISION to relocate Texan T1 training to an Anglesey air base looks set to boost the island's economy and create jobs.

The choice of RAF Valley for the new aircraft means the development of civilian support roles, aircraft maintenance and flight operation jobs.

As well good news for the island and RAF Valley, it also means that two-thirds of fast jet training is in one location, helping it to be more efficient.

The transfer of basic flying training to RAF Valley from RAF Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire, was planned on the retirement of the Tucano T1 aircraft, which served the RAF for 30 years.

The first Basic Flying Training (BFT) course with the new Texan T1 advanced turbo-prop aircraft began recently at RAF Valley.

The course is the second phase of the RAF and Royal Navy fast jet training under the Military Flying Training System, its students having passed Elementary Flying Training (EFT) on the Grob Prefect aircraft at RAF Cranwell.

It allows students to progress towards the fast jet front line.

An RAF Valley spokesperson said: RAF Valley has had significant investment in recent years with a £25m main runway refurbishment, giving it a 25 year life, as well new investments under the military flying training system.

"The base is a major employer in the area - supporting 1200+ civilian jobs locally - and the arrival of the Texan aircraft will increase that still further.”


The Texan T1 is manufactured in the US by Textron. It is a tandem-seat turboprop aircraft, with the latest digital glass cockpit and mission simulation systems.

The training system uses advanced course ware and mission planning systems, and highly realistic Texan T1 flight simulators that enable practice sorties on the ground.

Introducing the Texan to RAF Valley has been a considerable investment under the UK’s Military Flying Training System and its industry partners Ascent, Affinity and Lockheed-Martin.

Newly refurbished buildings, hangers, classrooms and the fleet of 10 Texan aircraft have been established at Valley over the past two years in preparation.

Wing Commander Chris Ball, Officer Commanding the Texan Integration Squadron at RAF Valley said:

“Under the Military Flying Training System, our fighter pilots will train on world-leading aircraft. They start on the Prefect, move on to the Texan and finish on the Hawk T2, making the training process more efficient and far more representative of the fighter aircraft they will eventually fly.

"The Texan is the ideal lead-in trainer to the Hawk T2 advanced jet trainer that they will move on to here at Valley.

"We look forward to building up and developing our training system – this is the first course of many – and later in the year adopting the historic title 72 (Fighter) Sqn, which will transfer from RAF Linton-on-Ouse.”

Group Captain Chris Moon, Station Commander RAF Valley and Commandant of No 4 Flying Training School said:

“The basing of the Texans here at RAF Valley reinforces the vital role we play in UK defence, delivering world class flying training for RAF and Royal Navy fast jet pilots.

"I’ve been hugely impressed by the professionalism and commitment of the team here on the Squadron and support elements across the whole Station; a mix of military personnel and industry partners who have worked extremely hard to get us to this day.”

Brian Braid, from Ascent Flying Training Ltd said:

“The start of the first training course on the RAF’s Texan TMk1 is yet another significant milestone in the transition to UKMFTS. The aircraft is a step change from the Tucano which it replaces and is an excellent lead-in trainer for the Hawk T2.

The students on this course are also the first all-MFTS cohort to have completed their training in the new suite of training aircraft.

Having completed Elementary Flying Training and their Fast Jet Lead In courses on the Prefect, they will break new ground by being the first course to undergo training on the new Texan before progressing to the Hawk T2.

"The joint military and Ascent team have worked tirelessly to get to this point and should be justifiably proud of their achievements in getting ready for their first student course.”

A course spokesperson said: “It is a great honour to be the first students to progress through the MFTS flying a fleet of new and capable aircraft that will lead us to the front-line where we will be operating state-of-the art technology. Our wings will be very special to us”.