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RAF Search and Rescue Force honoured for their service

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will return to Anglesey today to witness the formal disbandment of the Search and Rescue Force (SARF), at RAF Valley. RAF Valley served as the Headquarters of the SARF, and is proud to welcome guests for the official disbandment ceremony.

The RAF SARF, formerly known as The RAF Directorate of Air / Sea Rescue, was formed in 1941 following the Battle of Britain. After 75 years of operations in the UK, SARF will be honoured by the Duke and Duchess among many others, who will commemorate the Force’s exemplary service.

The iconic yellow Sea King helicopter

SARF operated at six bases in total throughout the UK, with the final flight flown in December 2015, at Chivenor. During their last year of service, SARF were involved in 1,298 incidents resulting in 1,341 callouts and 1,056 persons moved by air.

The event will also allow SARF members to pay tribute to the great achievements of the Force, who moved to RAF Valley in July 2015. The country’s coastline and mountains will now be patrolled by civilians, replacing the RAF pilots of 22 Squadron and 202 Squadrons, who operated the RAF Sea King Helicopters. With mottos of Valiant and Brave and Be always Vigilant respectively, the squadrons saved thousands of lives both at sea and on mountain tops, alongside support from the Royal Navy and Maritime and Coastguard Agency,

The Duke and Duchess lived on Anglesey for three years when Prince William, as Flight Lieutenant Wales, was an SARF pilot flying the now-retired Sea King helicopter. During this time, Prince William undertook 156 operations and rescued 149 people.

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