Training Increase at Halton for 2013

As 52 recruits graduate to become the RAF’s newest airmen and airwomen in 2013 it can be announced that the number of young men and women undergoing basic recruit training at RAF Halton will rise this year.

The increase in training numbers, from 1250 to 1660 trainees, reflects the need to now maintain the number of trained personnel in the RAF following the SDSR drawdown.

Officer Commanding Recruit Training Squadron, Squadron Leader Joe Duhan, said: “For us, the increase in the number of trainees will mean increasing the number of instructors on RTS to cope with the larger throughput of recruits and that will be happening over the coming months.”

The training at RAF Halton is designed to take the new recruit and transform him into an airman fit for Operations by laying in place the foundation stones they will build on throughout their career.

Reflecting on the first graduation parade of 2013 Squadron Leader Duhan said: “Today has marked the first of many achievements that these new airmen will attain throughout their future in the Royal Air Force. They have been trained and tested both mentally and physically and are now in a position to embark upon specialist training that will prepare them fully for the Operational demands of today’s Armed Forces.”

RAF Halton, in Buckinghamshire, is where all new airmen recruits with the exception of RAF Regiment trainees undergo the basic recruit training course. Carefully structured, the nine-week course is demanding, and rightly so given that many of the graduates will find themselves on Operations soon after they complete their specialist training.

Warrant Officer Jonathan Crossley, Warrant Officer Recruit Training Squadron, said: “The training that recruits receive is better than ever before. It’s focussed on shaping today’s RAF into the flexible, adaptable and agile force that’s required to meet the rigours and demands of modern operations.” As such the Recruit Training Squadron builds robustness, resilience, discipline, respect and integrity amongst a raft of other military skills.

Amongst those graduating from the Recruit Training Squadron this week was Graham Kinnaird (29) from Anglesey. He said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time here; the part of training that I liked most was drill.” Graham, who won a trophy for displaying the highest overall effort and determination during training, will now move to Keough Barracks in Aldershot to commence training in Dental Nursing.

Air Vice-Marshal Matt Wiles, Chief of Staff Personnel and Air Secretary, inspected the graduating Intake and, accompanied by the Station Commander of RAF Halton, Group Captain Simon Harper, received the salute as a Tucano from 72 Sqn, RAF Linton-on-Ouse, flew overhead.

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