| RAF Valley in Anglesey, North Wales, is the home of 4 Flying Training School (4 FTS) also known as the fast-jet ATTU (Advanced Training and Tactics Unit). At Valley there are two flying training roles; that of advanced flying training with 208(Reserve) Squadron and tactical weapons training with 4(Reserve) now with the Hawk T.2.
On November 24, 2011 RAF Valley 19(Reserve) Squadron, the unit formerly responsible for fast jet tactical weapons training was disbanded and 4(Reserve) Squadron was reformed to take its place.
Each year the staff instructors are responsible for up to 100 students as part of 208(R) Squadron's training syllabus (phase one) in three parallel 20-week courses flying the Hawk T.1. 208(R) Squadron's role is to train pilots the fundamental skills of flying fast-jets. Aided by the instructors, students must demonstrate that they are able to fly the aircraft in all weather conditions day and night, and with great accuracy. Students should progress to close and tactical formation flying, followed by navigational-training sorties, some of which are at low-level. On passing phase one, students will pass on to 4(R) Squadron for the Tactical Weapons course (phase two), flying in the Hawk T.2. Students with 4(R) will learn how to use the Hawk as a weapons platform, flying in tactical formations at low-level to attack targets. Students will basically learn; how to drop bombs, strafe targets and the basics of air-to-air combat. To complete a course a successful student will have planned, briefed and led a pair of Hawks to attack a target. They also fly with the threat of being 'bounced' by a staff instructor simulating an attack by an enemy fighter. Following completion of this course, graduates will be assessed for single or two seat operations for a move onto an Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), before being assigned a frontline squadron. It is generally accepted that the most gifted pilots will be posted to single seat aircraft. 20 students throughout the year are transferred to NATO flying training at Cold Lake or Moose Jaw in Canada.
Around five students will be diverted or 'creamed' off from the OCU course to become instructors. These 'creamies' as they are known will either go to Linton-on-Ouse on the Tucano or remain at Valley for a further three years to instruct on the Hawk, before moving on to an OCU.