Luke Pollard MP Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
- Luke visits the RAF’s remotely piloted airborne vehicle base at RAF Waddington
- AFPS discuss military developments with Station Commander Steve Kilvington
- Luke commends the RAF for its intelligence and reconnaissance work
Last week, Luke visited RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire as part of a cross-party delegation. This forms part of the requirement that Luke spends 15 days a year with the armed forces.
RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire is one of the RAF’s busiest Stations as the hub of UK Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) and the main operating base for airborne intelligence aircraft and systems like the E-3D Sentry AEW1.
Air ISTAR is the RAF’s eyes and ears in the sky and provides British and NATO military commanders with critical information about activity on the ground, in the air, and at sea.
The Air Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington provides timely and contextual integrated mission support to front line commanders.
Approximately 3,500 Service personnel, civil servants and contractors work at RAF Waddington.
While at the base Luke also had the chance to visit the air crews piloting RAF Reaper remotely piloted aircraft flying over Iraq. These are sometimes called ‘drones’. Luke observed a mission over Iraq that was being piloted by pilots in RAF Waddington.
“The RAF have some of the most advanced aircraft in the world and to hear how the AWACs, Sentry and drones work was a real privilege. RAF Waddington is a critical part of the UK’s intelligence and reconnaissance network and it was good to spend time with the men and women who work so hard to keep Britain safe. Their role is often overlooked or misunderstood and that is why the visit was so helpful and useful. I’m grateful to all the RAF personnel for the warm welcome and for taking the time to show me how their platforms work and what a difference they make.”
Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme
Luke is part of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme where he spends 15 days a year with the armed forces. He has just returned from a 5 day visit to the Royal Marines in Norway which you can read about here.