New RAF Reserves New Space Unit to Assist UK Space Command

1st May 2024
New RAF Reserves New Space Unit to Assist UK Space Command

On 18th April, 602 Squadron created a light of space-related specialists who will assist Space Command. The flight comprises three part-time recruits, with more in training. Space Command personnel come from the Royal Navy and British Army and the RAF as well as civilian and government workers. Standing up the flight in Glasgow makes 602 Squadron the third unit in the RAF that enables a unique form of access to space, along with 607 Squadron and RAF Waddington-based 7006 Squadron.

RAF Auxiliaries should not be underestimated

The role that auxiliaries play in developing a pool of young people who enter the aerospace industry should not be ignored. For example, the president of the Ukrainian Association of Pilots and Airplane Owners, Hennadiy Khazan, said in an interview with the Ukrainian media outlet NV in April 2024, that in conversations with his British counterparts, this factor has emerged as one of the UK’s strengths, especially in terms of creating a pool of potential pilots – including fighter pilots.

In the same vein, Air Vice-Marshal Ranald Munro said:

“This occasion is a reminder that the RAuxAF has been developing in step with the RAF for a hundred years in order to provide operational support to the regular service.
A century ago people could join the Auxiliary Air Force to learn to fly biplanes, today they can join the RAuxAF to assist with the defence of our country’s space interests.”

The sentiment was echoed by Air Vice-Marshal Paul Godfrey, Commander of UK Space Command, who said:

“The need for specialists and the opportunities offered by the RAF reserves have always been on the cutting edge, and to mutual benefit. In this sense, the flight continues an important tradition that makes aviation, and now space, accessible to a broader swath of people.
Reserves have always played a critical role across the armed forces. Their skill sets and specialist knowledge from their civilian lives enhance how we think, and how we operate.
I’m honoured and excited to be able to welcome these new space reserves, who will bring new perspectives and ideas to our work.”

For more from Air Vice-Marshal Paul Godfrey on the creation of Space Command, see our interview here.

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