LONDON – It is understood that members of the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows have been sacked following “unacceptable behaviors”, including bullying and sexual harassment.
UK media have reported that two of the team’s nine pilots had been sacked following an inquiry that was launched in December last year following such claims.
It is understood that more than 40 personnel had given evidence in this inquiry, which included young female recruits.
The RAF’s Comments…
The RAF said the following to Sky News on this particular situation:
“The RAF Police Special Investigations Branch investigated specific allegations, and whilst there were no criminal cases to be answered, we continue to look into the circumstances that led to the inquiry.
“To date, several RAF personnel have been investigated under the RAF’s Major Administrative Action Procedures.
“These investigations have resulted in a range of outcomes up to and including dismissals from the RAF.”
“The RAF commends the actions of all those who came forward to provide the inquiry and subsequent investigations with their evidence.
“It is important for unacceptable behavior to be called out and reported wherever and whenever it is encountered.
“We take all allegations of unacceptable behavior extremely seriously and will continue to take decisive action against anyone who fails to uphold our high standards, in accordance with the Ministry of Defence’s Zero Tolerance Policy.”
Such an inquiry was launched by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, back in December 2021.
Within this inquiry, details were heard, which included allegations of bullying, misogyny, and sexual harassment within the Red Arrows division of the RAF.
Following the outcome of this inquiry, the Red Arrows team has been given “extensive training on unacceptable behaviors and ‘Walk On By’ cultures”, according to the RAF.
A number of other recommendations have been implemented, with some “being pursued as a priority”.
Such recommendations have been utilized following August’s announcement by the head of the RAF that will address “legitimate questions” raised about the allegations that had been brought forward.
There has been a lot of criticism thrown at the RAF over the course of this year regarding diversity and harassment within the branch of the UK armed forces.
All eyes will be on the RAF now to see what more they can do to continue to combat this issue that is having a profound effect internally.
With diversity and equality becoming an even larger presence in today’s society, it is the responsibility of the RAF to ensure that such safeguarding measures are implemented a lot quicker than they have been done.
Looking ahead, it’s going to be interesting to see whether any more allegations emerge and whether this could be the catalyst for outlining a potentially larger problem within this branch.
But for now, all eyes are now going to be on the RAF to ensure that the recommendations put forward are implemented quickly to prevent such incidents like this from happening again.