• August 3, 2019

Celtic League have received a reply from the MOD (RAF) to our query about the extent of training for foreign pilots at RAF Valley. The issue is in focus and led to a question in the Manx Parliament Tynwald about the use of the Manx Civil Airport at Ronaldsway under an agreement with RAF Valley for the training of foreign aircrew.

The Manx Chief Minister originally told the Celtic League that they could not identify if foreign aircrew used the facility under the agreement which he bizarrely asserted assisted the training of Manx Air Traffic Controllers. The MOD confirmed to us they did use the Airport.

The League were aware that trainee pilots and ground crew from Saudi Arabia were trained under the agreement and were concerned because that country Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a ruthless bombing campaign against its neighbour Yemen in which innocent men women and children have been killed and schools and hospitals operated by Médecins Sans Frontières bombed. In addition they have bombed the main airport and threatened to shoot down an aircraft operated by the Red Crescent to deny humanitarian aid.

The new information confirms that two of the Saudi coalition involved in the war crimes in Yemen (Kuwait and Qatar) also have had personnel trained at Valley. The MOD say that in addition to pilot skills as part of the ‘package of training’ the RAF ‘ provides weapons delivery training’ although they insist this involves ‘simulated weapons with no weapons being dropped at air weapons ranges’.

There is a link here to our query sent in early June:


We are grateful to the MOD/RAF for responding fully to all the points we raised.

(For information)

The MOD/RAF reply also points out training is provided to (NATO allies) Belgium, Canada, France and the USA and additionally to Australia, Kenya and South Africa.

Image: Ronaldsway (Isle of Man) Civil Airport provides training to Gulf State war crimes allies of Saudis – inset Kuwait Air Force BAe Hawk

Bernard Moffatt
Assistant General Secretary Celtic League

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