Flt Lt Wales has commenced his duties as an RAF Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter pilot in the Falkland Islands providing Search and Rescue cover for both the civilian and military population.
Flt Lt Wales is part of a four man crew providing SAR cover for a six week tour of duty, his role is to operate as a Sea King co-pilot, a post he has held at RAF Valley in Anglesey since qualifying.
His first shift involved briefings on the unique and challenging flying environment of the Falkland Islands and familiarisation with the location and the job he is to perform.
The Officer Commanding Search and Rescue, Squadron Leader Miles Bartlett, said, “A posting to operations in the Falklands is a vital part of the career progression for a Search and Rescue pilot. The experience they get here is second to none. It is a challenging and varied job providing an essential capability to the Military and the Falkland Islands population.”
This detachment to the Falklands offers Flt Lt Wales excellent experience and training opportunities to develop his career as a SAR pilot. SAR crews have to contend with a variety of challenging conditions as the weather on the islands is often changeable and a significant number of the population live in very remote and rugged areas. Whilst SAR remains their primary responsibility crews can be expected to complete a multitude of challenging tasks including rescuing fishermen from trawlers, taking seriously ill patients to hospital, putting out peat fires or dropping off vital supplies to the isolated areas of the islands.
Flight Lieutenant Wales has deployed purely in an RAF role and will not be completing any ceremonial roles as the Duke of Cambridge. A six week deployment to the Falklands is conventional for SAR pilots at this stage of their career. (MoD PR)