Welcome to RAF Search and Rescue (SARF)
Welcome to the RAF SAR Force
SAR Force Commander
Group Captain Sara Mackmin MA BEng RAF
"To generate and sustain a world-leading Search and Rescue capability, including Command Control and Coordination, helicopters and Mountain Rescue Service Force elements, to be a force for good and contribute to the Ministry of Defence's mission"
The Royal Air Force maintains a 24-hour search and rescue service covering the whole of the United Kingdom and a large surrounding area. Whilst the service exists primarily to assist military aircrew and other personnel in distress, the vast majority of ‘scrambles’ are to assist civilians who find themselves in difficulties, either on land or at sea.
RAF Sea King helicopters of 22 and 202 Squadrons operate from six UK locations. Further helicopters provide SAR cover from 2 Royal Navy and 4 Maritime and Coastguard Agency contract-operated bases, giving a total of 12 helicopter units around the UK. RAF Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) are based at 4 locations in mainland Britain, each staffed by a core of 8 permanent staff members and supported by 28 part-time volunteers.
The Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre at RAF Kinloss tasks and co-ordinates all aeronautical SAR activity across the UK Search and Rescue Region, drawing from a wide variety of SAR helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and RAF Mountain Rescue Teams. The UK ARCC also detects and notifies emergency distress beacon alerts worldwide.
RAF Search and Rescue works closely with the civilian emergency services and has produced a technical handbook for anyone working with Search And Rescue helicopters. The booklet can be viewed or downloaded using this link to 'Working with SAR Helicopters'.
All imagery is Crown Copyright unless specified.