The Celtic League have written to the RAF to ask if RAF Hawk trainers entered Irish Airspace this week during training exercises.
The main base for RAF flying training is at Valley on Anglesey and the Hawk trainers from this base operate over the Irish Sea. The base has an arrangement with the Isle of Man government allowing the RAF aircraft to use the Civil airport on the Island for (non touch down) approach and departure under ATC. The situation has been criticised by the Manx branch of the Celtic League and local Peace Groups that oppose the military training of personnel from ‘third party countries’ such as Saudi Arabia. That country’s air force is engaged in an indiscriminate bombing campaign against civilians in Yemen.
This is the first time the League have been alerted to incursions into Irish Airspace by Valley based jets and the RAF have been asked to clarify if THERE IS AN AGREEMENT in place for this.
Celtic League Military Monitoring has in the past posed the risks posed to civil aircraft by British Military activity in the South Central Irish sea associated with ‘rogue’ missiles fired from the DERA range (now Qinetiq) in mid Wales.
RAF ValleyFAO: Media and Communications unit.
Ref: Flying Training – Central Irish Sea Area.
Can you advise if RAF military jet (BAe Hawk) trainers entered Irish Airspace off Co Wicklow this week?
If so, is this a regular occurrence with the agreement of the Irish government and whilst in Irish Airspace are the jets subject to Irish Air Traffic Control?
Can you advise – if the answer to the above is in the affirmative – if trainees from ‘third party States’ who are trained at RAF Valley or other RAF stations (such as members of the Royal Saudi Air Force etc) avail of this facility and if so, are the Irish government aware of this?
Thanking you in anticipation of your clarification of these points. I look forward to your reply in due course.
Assistant General Secretary Celtic League
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Image: RAF Valley – Inset: Child victims of ‘terror bombing in Yemen facilitated by RAF Valley.
ASG Celtic League (12th March 2021)