Prince of Wales mans fire engine to put out blaze at his old RAF base

Prince William takes part in a simulated fire response exercise during an official visit to RAF Valley in Anglesey
Prince William takes part in a simulated fire response exercise during an official visit to RAF Valley in Anglesey - Chris Jackson

The Prince of Wales manned a water pump to extinguish a plane fire as part of a simulated exercise at his former RAF base.

The 42-year-old visited Anglesey’s RAF Valley as its Royal Honorary Air Commodore after he took over the role from the King in August last year.

He and the Princess of Wales had lived together on the island as newlyweds when he served as an RAF search and rescue pilot.

The site, the RAF’s only station in Wales, is home to the No 4 Flying Training School for the next generation of British fighter pilots. Crews at the base are also trained for mountain and maritime operations worldwide.

The Prince, who was stationed at the base from 2010 to 2013, was given a tour of the site to refresh his memory, visiting the air traffic control tower and hearing of plans to refurbish the second runway.

He was seen pointing at the maps on screens, asking specific questions about visibility. “It’s a bit of nostalgia for me,” he said as he looked at the view from the tower.

He met the response team from the RAF Mountain Rescue Service, chatted to the families of serving personnel and presented the Prince of Wales award to the best-qualified flying instructor

Prince William meets personnel in the control tower at RAF Valley
Prince William meets personnel in the control tower at RAF Valley - Chris Jackson/PA

Prince William arrived in the rain, carrying an umbrella as he walked across the tarmac, with much small talk about the weather.

He joked with his former flying instructor that he “hangs around like a bad smell” before the pair had a warm catch-up.

After seeing Capt Wills at the Anglesey base, the Prince quipped: “I thought you might be here today, you hang around like a bad smell!”

He also joked with the Fire and Rescue team on the base, imitating a bicep curl and saying that the fire crew “are some of the fittest on station”.

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