British RoyalsThe Cambridges

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to attend the Search and Rescue Force Disbandment Parade

Next week, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be returning to their old home of Anglesey for the formal end of search and rescue operations at RAF Valley.

Prince William and Catherine will be on the base for the Search and Rescue (SAR) Force Disbandment Parade on Thursday February 18, to pay respects to the end of over 75 years of RAF SAR UK operations.

The days events will celebrate the RAF SAR Force’s outstanding service since it started, allowing SAR members and their loved ones to pay tribute to all of the Force’s achievements.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge resided in Anglesey for three years while Prince William was an SAR pilot. Known at the time as Flight Lieutenant Wales, he flew the now-retired Sea King helicopter.

While in Anglesey, William went on 156 operations and rescued 149 people.

The service was moved from RAF Valley last July to Caernarfon Airport after privatisation, a big move since being located in RAF Valley since 1955.

Operations from the C Flight 22 Squadron based at RAF Valley have been taken over by Bristow Helicopters Ltd.

Last June a special civic ceremony was held in order to bid farewell to the search and rescue services.

The area holds another special spot for William and Catherine as after the announcement of their engagement, the couple made their first public appearance at Trearddur Bay RNLI, where they named the new lifeboat.

The RAF SAR Force was formed in 1941 following the Battle of Britain, formerly known as The RAF Directorate of Air/Sea Rescue.

Other than William’s past employment as an SAR pilot, the Duchess also now has a link to the RAF as the Honorary Air Commandant of the Air Cadets, a role she took over from the Duke of Edinburgh in December that he held for 63-years.

The Duchess of Cambridge performed her first official role this past Sunday helping mark the 75th anniversary of the RAF Air Cadets.