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Royal Auxiliary Air Force

Volume 83: debated on Friday 19 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make it his policy to restore a flying role to the Royal Auxiliary Air Force; and if he will make a statement.

The reintroduction of a flying role for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force is still under consideration, subject to the availability of resources. However, I am pleased to announce a trial scheme to assess the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of recruiting RAF volunteer reservists to serve as aircrew in regular RAF squadrons. The trial, which will start next April and last for two years, will offer voluntary reservists the opportunity to fill certain rear-crew positions in the Nimrod maritime reconnaissance force and to provide a complete VC10 transport crew. Eleven volunteer reservists will be recruited for the trial, including two pilots. The cost will amount to some £350,000 over the two year period.