RAF chiefs yesterday revealed they had sacked members of the air force amid probes into allegations of bullying, misogyny and sexual harassment. Officials said an undisclosed number of personnel had been sacked following the inquiry – ordered by the Chief of the Air Staff – revealed “a broad range of unacceptable behaviours” among the Red Arrows.
It said that “several” personnel have been investigated, with a range of outcomes “up to and including dismissals from the RAF”.
More than 40 personnel, including young female recruits, reportedly provided 250 hours of evidence to an inquiry which began earlier this year, describing the aerobatic display team as “toxic”.
In August, the head of the RAF vowed to address “legitimate questions” raised about allegations of sexual harassment and bullying within the Red Arrows along with a number of other issues.
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston had launched an inquiry in December, which documented allegations of bullying, misogyny and sexual harassment.
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“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 behaviour to be called out and reported wherever and whenever it is encountered. We take all allegations of unacceptable behaviour 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.”
Formed in 1964, The Red Arrows are the Royal Air Force’s aerobatic display team, and they’re instantly recognisable by their distinctive red Hawk jets.
The team has been putting on displays since it was formed and is now in its 58th season. As the “public face” of the RAF, they act as ambassadors for the UK at home and overseas.
The Red Arrows had flown almost 5,000 displays in 57 countries, and their team is made up of pilots, engineers, and support staff. They are based at the RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.