Red Arrows

All nine Red Arrows display pilots are fast jet pilots from front line Royal Air Force squadrons.

Once they have finished their three-year tour with the team they will return to their Royal Air Force duties.


Officer Commanding

Wing Commander Andrew Keith RAF


Andrew, 44, was commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) in 1994. Graduating as a fast-jet pilot, he flew the A4K Skyhawk operationally.

Following the demise of the RNZAF air combat force, Andrew transferred to the RAF in 2001. He was posted to the Harrier Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Wittering. He completed a frontline tour with IV(AC) Squadron at RAF Cottesmore. During this tour he was involved with a variety of UK, mainland Europe and US-based exercises. He carried out two embarked detachments aboard HMS Invincible and completed three operational flying tours.

In 2006, Andrew was selected to join the Red Arrows and flew with the team for the 2007-09 seasons. In 2010, Andrew was posted to the Joint Force Air Component Headquarters in High Wycombe and during this time he deployed to the Middle East in a position at 83 Expeditionary Air Wing. He was promoted to Squadron Leader in December 2010 and was posted to the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning staff at Northwood HQ. In 2013 he moved to RAF Waddington and served on XIII Squadron as the weapons and tactics flight commander and then as the executive officer. After promotion to Wing Commander, he moved to his current post as Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team (OC RAFAT) in September 2017.

Andrew has overall responsibility for the Red Arrows and he ensures procedures followed by the team allow for safe and efficient flying.

Red 1 - Team Leader

Squadron Leader Martin Pert

As Team Leader, Martin, 38, is primarily responsible for all aspects of the display, from running the training programme to choreographing the show. He leads the nine-aircraft aerobatic display.

Born in Scotland but educated at Parmiter’s School, Garston, Martin was commissioned into the Royal Air Force in 2000 through the Sixth-Form Scholarship scheme.

Martin progressed through flying training on the Firefly, Tucano and Hawk and was selected as a ‘Creamie’ at the culmination of his training. Martin remained at RAF Valley and spent 3 years on 208(R) Squadron as a Qualified Flying Instructor on the Hawk TMk1. During his time at Valley, Martin was the solo Hawk display pilot in 2006.

Martin was then posted to the Harrier GR7/9. Whilst on 1(F) Squadron, Martin conducted frontline operations and numerous aircraft carrier detachments, along with multinational exercises.

Martin spent six months flying the Hawk T1 in the aggressor role on 100 Squadron before being selected for the the Red Arrows for the 2012-2014 seasons. Flying as Red 2, 4 and 8 respectively, Martin’s time on the team saw him display and engage with the public throughout the UK and mainland Europe. In his role as the Executive Officer, he played a key role in the planning and execution of the team’s successful 2013 Middle East Tour, in concert with major flypasts for the 2012 London Olympics, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Promoted to Squadron Leader during his time on the Red Arrows, Martin was selected as a Typhoon flight commander. He converted to the Typhoon FGR4 in December 2014 and joined the newly-reformed II(AC) Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth. During his time on the Typhoon, Martin conducted NATO Air policing duties in the Baltic region, UK Quick Reaction Alert, along with numerous exercises as far afield as Las Vegas, the UAE, Japan and the Republic of Korea. Immediately prior to returning to the Reds, Martin served on operational duty in the Middle East.

The 2019 season will be his second year as Red 1, Team Leader.

Red 2

Flight Lieutenant Damon 'Damo' Green

Damo, 34, who joined the RAF in 2007, was born and brought up in Sheffield, attending Aston Comprehensive School. After completing a gap year in Tanzania teaching mathematics and English, he attended Bath University to read mathematics. During his period studying, he was a member of Bristol University Air Squadron and was awarded a pilot bursary.

Damo completed his elementary flying training at RAF Wyton and went on to fastjet training at RAF Linton-on-Ouse and RAF Valley. Damo was sent to 100 Squadron, the RAF’s aggressor squadron, for his first tour. During this tour, he participated in numerous multi-national exercises throughout Europe. He was then sent to the Typhoon force in 2015. During his time on XI(F) he deployed to the Falkland Islands and took part in exercises in the UAE and US. Damo served operationally in the Middle East where he was awarded a Joint Commander’s Commendation.

This is Damo’s his first year on the Red Arrows.

Red 3

Flight Lieutenant David Simmonds

David, 38, who joined the RAF in 2002, was born and brought up in Ipswich where he attended St Joseph’s College. He was a cadet with 188 Ipswich Sqn and was awarded a flying scholarship with the RAF. He went on to study geography at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 2002. He was a member of the University Air Squadron at RAF Cosford, where he completed his elementary flying training, and had a bursary to join the RAF as a pilot.

David went on to fast-jet training at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, then RAF Valley and the NATO flying training school in Canada. He was selected to fly the Tornado GR4.During his first tour on IX(B) Sqn, David deployed to Middle East and took part in several overseas exercises and operations. He then served with 15(R) Sqn as a tactics instructor and was selected to be lead pilot for the 2012 Tornado GR4 Role Demonstration Team.

In 2013, David was selected for an exchange post flying the Harrier and latterly F5 with the United States Marine Corps. With VMA 211 (Harrier) he deployed to Bahrain in support of Op Inherent Resolve. On VMFT 401 (F5) he was an aggressor pilot training future Marine pilots in air-to-air tactics, taking part in multiple training exercises across the US.

This is David’s first year on the Red Arrows.

Red 4

Flight Lieutenant Gregor Ogston

Gregor, 32, grew up in Aberdeenshire where he attended Banchory Academy and was a member of the 2367 Air Cadet Squadron.  After completing Advanced Highers in maths, German and chemistry he joined the RAF in 2005.  He completed elementary flying training at RAF Wyton. 

Gregor went on to fast-jet training at RAF Linton-on-Ouse and RAF Valley. Posted to the Harrier GR9, Gregor flew the aircraft in its final year of RAF service. He then deployed in support of UK operations overseas prior to transferring to the Typhoon FGR4 and 3(F) Squadron. During his time on the Typhoon he conducted Quick Reaction Alert duties in the UK, Falklands and Baltic region as well as exercises throughout the Middle East, Europe and North America. He then moved to RAF Valley, completing a tour as a flying instructor teaching tactics and weapons training on the Hawk T2.

This is Gregor’s first year with the Red Arrows.

Red 5

Squadron Leader Steve Morris

Steve, 37, who joined the RAF in 2002, was educated at Westfield Comprehensive School in Sheffield where he was a member of the Air Training Corps. He studied aerospace engineering at the University of Sheffield and flew the Tutor training aircraft at Yorkshire Universities’ Air Squadron.

After graduating from advanced flying training at RAF Valley, he was selected to remain with 208 Squadron, to become a qualified flying instructor.

Steve was selected to fly the Harrier GR9, becoming the last pilot to complete the Harrier Operational Conversion Unit.

He went on to fly the Tornado GR4 and was involved in operations overseas during his first few months on IX(B) Squadron and took part in exercises in both the UK and North America.

Steve was selected to be a Red Arrows pilot and completed four years with the team, between 2013-2016, including as the Synchro Leader. Following his first tour with team, Steve was posted to RAF Valley on Anglesey where he instructed on IV Squadron and subsequently XXV(F) Squadron training future fast-jet pilots.  

This is Steve’s first year on his return to the Red Arrows.

Red 6 - Synchro Leader

Flight Lieutenant Toby Keeley

Toby, 37, was educated at Ringmer Community College and Park College, Eastbourne. Whilst at school he was a member of the Hailsham Air Training Corps. On completion of his A-levels, he went on to study business management at Solent University and completed elementary flying training as a member of Southampton University Air Squadron.

Toby joined the Royal Air Force in 2003 and undertook Initial Officer Training and Basic Fast-Jet Training on the Tucano. After successfully graduating from Advanced Flying Training at RAF Valley, he completed his Tactical Weapons Training on the Hawk 115 at the NATO Flying Training School in Cold Lake, Canada. On returning to the UK, Toby was selected to fly the Tornado GR4 and was posted to 31 Squadron at RAF Marham. During his frontline tour he completed two operational tours of duty overseas and took part in various major exercises in Europe and North America including the NATO led Tactical Leadership Programme in Spain.

In 2012 he was posted to IV(R) Squadron, RAF Valley as a Qualified Flying Instructor on the Hawk T2 gaining both his A2 and CFS (Central Flying School) accreditation. Toby also enjoyed managing and flying in the first Hawk T2 pair Role Demonstration.

This is Toby’s third year on the Red Arrows.

Red 7 - Synchro Two

Flight Lieutenant Jon Bond

Jon, 34, was educated at Chigwell School in Essex. After completing his A-levels he attended Loughborough University where he studied air transport management and later gained an MSc in transport management and business planning. During his university studies, Jon was a member of the East Midlands Universities’ Air Squadron where he completed his elementary flying training on the Grob Tutor.

Jon joined the RAF in 2006 and was fortunate enough to be streamed to fly fast-jets. Post advanced flying training on the Hawk T1, he was selected to be a first tourist (so-called 'Creamie') Qualified Flying Instructor on the Tucano at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. During this tour, he taught ab-initio trainee fast-jet pilots whilst also teaching both the new and returning instructors on the Central Flying School Flight. Jon gained his A2 instructor qualification and was chosen to be the Tucano display pilot in 2012.

After finishing his Creamie tour, Jon then returned to the Hawk T1 to complete Tactical Weapons Training and was selected to fly the Typhoon FGR4. On completing the Operational Conversion Unit, Jon was posted to RAF Coningsby where he spent four years on 3(F) Squadron.

During his frontline tour, Jon served on various operations overseas including providing Quick Reaction Alert to safeguard the skies both in the UK, the Baltics and the Falkland Islands. In addition to his operational flying, Jon participated in many multi-national exercises in the US, Middle East and Far East and the Advanced Tactical Leadership Course in the United Arab Emirates.

This is Jon’s second year on the Red Arrows.

Red 8

Flight Lieutenant Chris Lyndon-Smith

Chris, 38, was educated in the West Midlands and Norfolk.

Aged 16, Chris was awarded a Royal Air Force Flying Scholarship and went on to complete his Private Pilot’s Licence the year after. He then joined the Royal Air Force in 1998. After elementary flying training, he was selected to fly fast-jets. On completion of the Tactical Weapons Course at RAF Valley in 2002, Chris was posted to the Tornado GR4. Whilse on the frontline, Chris also completed the Combat Survival Rescue Officers course at Royal Air Force St Mawgan and attended the Desert and Jungle Survival course in Australia.

Chris was then posted to 208 Squadron, RAF Valley where he served as a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) for three years, after which he was posted back to the frontline in 2008 where he served as the Squadron QFI. Chris was then selected to fly in the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team where he flew as Red 2, 7 and 6 between the years 2011 to 2013. After this Red Arrows tour, Chris was posted to 100 Squadron where he flew as one of the aggressor pilots in air combat, close air support, and low level evasion roles. He also served as one of the Deputy Flight Commanders and was one of the instructors on the Squadron. He re-joined the Red Arrows in August 2016.

Chris was born and raised in Africa until the age of 10 before his family decided to return to the UK. Chris has always wanted to fly and was in the Combined Cadet Force from the age of 13.

This is Chris’s third year on his return to the Red Arrows.

Red 9 - Executive Officer

Flight Lieutenant Dan Lowes

Dan, 33, was educated at Clearwater Bay and King George V School, Hong Kong, until 1998 when he then moved to St. Georges College, Weybridge. Whilst at school he was a member of 11(F) Squadron of the Air Training Corps. He studied A-levels in politics and international relations, history and geography, whilst also playing rugby for the College’s first XV. After completing his A-levels Dan joined the Royal Air Force at 19.

Dan joined the RAF in 2004 and after graduating from Tactical Weapons Training on 19(R) Squadron at RAF Valley he was selected to join the Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit in 2008. On successful completion Dan was sent to 3(F) Squadron where he gained his Multi-Role Combat Ready status before being posted as one of the first members of 6 Squadron when it reformed with Typhoons at RAF Leuchars. Here he operated in the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) role, safeguarding the integrity of the UK’s airspace. Dan was then posted to 1(F) Squadron at RAF Leuchars before being selected for the Qualified Weapons Instructor Course on 29(R) Squadron at RAF Coningsby. On graduation he joined 41(R) Test and Evaluation Squadron at RAF Coningsby where he was the QWI in charge of all air-air and air-ground weapons on Typhoon. Dan has served on QRA in the Falkland Islands, has flown on the Advanced Tactical Leadership Course in the UAE and participated in numerous exercises in the Middle East, Far East and the US.

This is Dan's third year on the Red Arrows.

Red 10 - Supervisor

Squadron Leader Adam Collins

Adam, 41, attended Solihull School in the West Midlands, where he was a member of the

Combined Cadet Force and received an RAF Sixth Form Scholarship. Adam went on to study aeronautics and astronautics at Southampton University and was a keen member of the University Air Squadron where he flew the Bulldog at Boscombe Down.

After completing fastjet flying training, Adam’s first operational tour was on IX(B) Squadron at RAF Marham, flying the Tornado GR4. He was then fortunate enough to be selected to fly the F-111 for three years on exchange with the Royal Australian Air Force at RAAF Amberley in Queensland. He took part in numerous exercises in Australia and Asia and was the last exchange pilot to fly the aircraft type. On returning to the UK, Adam re-qualified on the Tornado GR4 and served operationally on XIII and II(AC) Squadrons before being promoted to Squadron Leader.

Following a two-year tour as an Air Staff Officer working with the British Army, Adam was posted to 100 Squadron as a Flight Commander, where he flew the Hawk T1. He provided aggressor training for frontline fastjet and helicopter squadrons along with Close Air Support training to land forces. Adam left 100 Squadron as the Executive Officer.

This is Adam’s second year on the Red Arrows.

How to become a pilot

To apply for selection to the Red Arrows, Royal Air Force pilots must first meet certain criteria:

  • They must have a minimum of 1,500 flying hours.
  • They must have completed a front line tour.
  • Be assessed as being above average in their flying role.

A shortlist of nine applicants are examined during a thorough selection week, and are put through a gruelling flying test, formal interview and peer assessments.

Up to three new pilots are chosen each year to replace the three that have finished their tour. The Team Leader must have completed a three-year tour as a team pilot earlier in his career, and is appointed in a separate selection process.

Support Team


It is the hard work of the team’s support personnel that keep the Red Arrows flying.

The teamwork shown by the pilots in the air is reflected in the dedication and professionalism of the support staff on the ground. The support team’s success results from their Royal Air Force training, the pride they take in their work, and their determination, motivation, and, very often, sheer hard work. Without them, the Red Arrows could not function.

This team is made up of a Team Manager, a Supervisor (Red 10), a Public Relations Manager, two Engineering Officers, an Adjutant and approximately 85 engineering technicians and other support staff.

The latter are known as ‘The Blues’ because they wear distinctive royal blue flying suits during the display season. The Blues represent nine out of the Royal Air Force’s broad range of more than 65 technical and non-technical trades. Every team member has undergone intensive training in their particular specialisation throughout their Royal Air Force career.



Ten aircraft engineering technicians are chosen to form a team known as the Circus.

Circus engineers are each allocated to a specific pilot for the duration of the summer display season.

They fly in the passenger seat of the Hawk to and from display airfields and service the aircraft before and after every display. Once the display season is over, they return to their normal squadron duties.

The unique experience of flying regularly in a fast jet means that these are some of the most sought-after engineering jobs in the Royal Air Force.

Engineering - 'The Blues'

The Red Arrows 100 engineering technicians and engineering support staff are headed by a Senior Engineering Officer, who along with his management team of 2 Flight Lieutenants, a Warrant Officer and a Flight Sergeant, are responsible for ensuring that the correct number of aircraft are available for the pilots during both the display and training seasons, and that the aircraft undergo the appropriate servicing and maintenance. They are responsible for engineering standards and safety, and the welfare of the Red Arrows' engineering team.

Mechanical Technicians

Mechanical technicians make up two thirds of the Red Arrows’ engineering team and are responsible for the maintenance and rectification of the Team’s BAE Systems Hawk T1 aircraft. The mechanics look after the complete range of mechanical components and structure of the aircraft including the engines, gearboxes, flying controls, landing gear, hydraulics, air conditioning, anti-icing and fuel systems – everything from the smallest nut and bolt to the wings.

Avionics Technicians

The Red Arrows have 14 avionics technicians who are responsible for all the electrical and avionics systems on the aircraft. They maintain equipment ranging from emergency compasses to complex engine control circuits, as well as introducing upgrades such as new radio systems and engine performance monitoring equipment.

Weapon Technicians

The smallest of the Red Arrows’ three engineering trades, the weapons technicians are responsible for the maintenance and control of the explosive components and survival equipment fitted to the Hawk aircraft. The team work on the aircraft’s ejection seats, explosive canopies and fire suppression and emergency systems.


Responsibility for ensuring spare parts get to the Red Arrows wherever they are operating throughout the world falls upon the five-strong supply team. They also ensure that the team’s transport, whether it is an RAF Hercules C130 aircraft or an articulated lorry, are correctly loaded. All of the thousands of pieces of equipment that help the Red Arrows work smoothly – everything from nuts and bolts to aircraft engines – are purchased, stored, managed and distributed by the suppliers.

Mechanical Transport

The Red Arrows have eight drivers who are responsible for a fleet of 18 vehicles, from 38-tonne trucks to Land Rovers. A vital part of the team, they ensure all the equipment and personnel reaches the right place as well as ensuring the aircraft are refuelled and replenished with the diesel needed for the smoke systems.

Survival Equipment Fitters

The team has three Survival Equipment Fitters who maintain all elements of the pilots’ safety kit. This specialist equipment includes helmets, anti-G trousers, life rafts, oxygen masks and parachutes.


Without one of the team’s photographers, the Red Arrows would not be able to display. There are three in the team – Corporal Ashley Keates, SAC Hannah Smoker and SAC Rose Buchanan. Their role is crucial for safety and training purposes and one of the three-strong section videos every manoeuvre of the display from the ground – both during winter training and the summer season. They also take still images for the team, capturing pictures of the jets in action around the world, in the air and on the ground.

Engineering Support Flight

Engineering Support Flight (ESF) is responsible for maintaining quality assurance, standards, support, records and training. The section is led by Flying Officer Chloe Sainsbury and has a mixture of regular and reserve personnel of various ranks. Support and training is pinnacle within the Red Arrows, ensuring safety and compliance in the air and on the ground, regardless of trade or rank.

Survival Equipment

Dye Team


The Red Arrows are famous for their vibrant vapour trails - often known as the smoke. They are a crucial element of the team's displays, primarily for flight safety. The vapour trails allow Red 1 to judge wind speed and direction, and allow the aircraft to locate each other in the second half of the show when different sections of the formation are frequently several miles apart. The vivid and colourful smoke trails also enhance the visual impact of the display when viewed from the ground. Well known manoeuvres such as the heart, rollbacks and carousel would just not be the same without it.

The Red Arrows have a dedicated Dye team who ensure the aircraft are replenished with the correct amount of diesel and dye. These engineers travel all over the country, working within tight timescales to ensure that when Red 1 makes the call it is "Smoke on, Go!"

During the winter season, two of the team are busy servicing all of the aircraft's smoke pods and throughout Exercise Springhawk, the Dye Team consolidate all their skills, working together to ensure they are ready for a busy display.

How the smoke is created

The basic vapour colour is white, produced by injecting diesel into the hot exhaust from the jet engine. This reaches temperatures of over 400 degrees Celsius and vaporises immediately. The blue and red colours are made by mixing dye with the diesel. The dye and diesel is stored in a specially-modified pod fitted to each of the aircraft. The pilot releases the liquid by pushing One of three buttons on the control column. During the display each aircraft can produce smoke for a maximum duration of seven minutes. This gives the pilot five minutes of white smoke, and one minute each of red and blue smoke. For this reason, a ‘smoke plot’ is worked out extremely carefully to ensure that no aircraft runs out of smoke before the end of the display.

Filling the pods

Replenishing the diesel/dye mixture is done in two separate operations. First, the pressure which has built up in the centreline pod is released. Then, diesel is fed into the correct valve at the front of the centreline pod from a diesel bowser. There are no indicators to show when the diesel section of the pod is full – a technician is stationed at the rear of the pod to watch carefully for white vapour emitting from the vent pipe. Once the vapour is seen, the call of “It’s Gone” is given and the technician in charge of the feeder pipe connected to the front of the pod turns the diesel supply off and shouts “White’s Off”.

Replenishing the coloured dye/diesel mix is supervised particularly carefully to ensure the right colour mix is fed into the correct section of the pod. The most crucial piece of equipment for the team’s work is the dye rig, which contains the dye/diesel mixture. Every display uses one barrel of red dye and one of blue dye, which are then topped up with diesel. The team always fill the two colours in the same order to prevent confusion; red then blue. One technician operates the flow buttons on the dye rig, one connects the pipe to the valve at the front of the pod and one checks for the level at the rear of the pod. The call goes out “Red On”, followed by “Pumping Red”, at which point the dye rig operator presses the button to start the replenishment process. Again, there is no dial or gauge to show when the pod is full, and so the technicians have developed their own method of ensuring that the coloured liquid does not overflow. The only way to tell how full the pod is to press your ear up against the back of the pod to hear when the valve begins to quietly ‘chatter’ - quite difficult on a noisy airfield! Again, the urgent call of “It’s gone” is followed by “Red Off” from both the dye rig operator and the pipe connector. The whole process is then repeated for the blue mixture.

As you can imagine, the job of replenishing the dye and diesel can be a messy one! The dye is not easily removed if it stains skin and clothing. In order to protect the technicians against spillage, the Dye team wear special protective silver overalls, thick gloves and goggles. Because of their protective qualities, the suits get extremely warm! Next time you watch the team replenishing diesel and dye on a hot summer’s day, spare a thought for the hardworking Dye team.


Since flying the first time in 1965, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team has performed almost 4,900 times across the globe. The Red Arrows are lucky to have both a wonderful history and the support and interest of millions of well-wishers.

It was in 1964 when the Royal Air Force amalgamated its display teams into one, premier unit – the Red Arrows. The name was taken from the Black Arrows team and the colour scheme as a tribute to the Red Pelicans, while the aircraft chosen to be flown, the Gnat, had been used by the Yellowjacks.

In the first season of 1965, the team – flying seven aircraft in a display and based at RAF Fairford – performed 65 shows. A media event at RAF Little Rissington on May 6 was the team’s first official display, with the first public performance in the UK on May 15 at Biggin Hill Air Fair. The team permanently increased to nine display aircraft in 1968 and the Diamond Nine became the Red Arrows’ trademark formation.

The Gnat, which had flown 1,292 displays, was replaced by the BAE Systems Hawk, a modified version of the RAF’s fast jet and weapons trainer, for the 1980 season. Also that year, permission was given for the team to have the motto Eclat – meaning excellence.

RAF Scampton – the station famous for its role in the 1943 Dambusters raid – became the team’s new home in 1983, moving from RAF Kemble – its base since 1966. Apart from a period at RAF College Cranwell between 1995 and 2000, the Lincolnshire station has been the Red Arrows’ permanent home ever since.

During the team’s world tour of October 1995 to February 1996, the Red Arrows performed to nearly a million people in Sydney on Australia Day.

In 2002, the Red Arrows flew with a British Airways Concorde over London to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

A decade later, the Red Arrows performed another series of flypasts over the capital, for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony – seen by a global television audience in excess of one billion people – and the Athlete’s Parade.

The 4,500th Red Arrows display took place at the RAF Waddington International Air Show in July 2013 – in the team’s 49th season and the year concluded with a highly-successful tour of the Middle East.

In 2014, the 50th display season was marked as a major milestone with a series of celebrations throughout the year. The Red Arrows were the main feature and theme of the year’s airshows. There were also television and radio documentaries, magazines produced and even a high speed train named after the team.

A special, one-off, tailfin was revealed on the team to recognise the anniversary season, with the design incorporating both a Gnat and Hawk jet outline to reflect the two types of aircraft flown by the team in its history.

For the 2015 season, instead of returning to the traditional three-stripe tailfin livery used since the 1960s, a fresh new paint scheme was revealed on the jets during a live television broadcast from RAF Scampton. This Union flag-inspired design features flowing red, white and blue lines and emphasises the Red Arrows’ role as national ambassadors for the United Kingdom.

In September 2016, after a busy domestic season, the team embarked on its biggest overseas tour in a decade. The nine-week deployment to the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions covered 20,000 miles. The tour took the Red Arrows to 17 countries – including visiting China for the first time in the Squadron’s history. It is estimated the team’s activities were seen by a global audience, in person or through media channels, of up to one billion people. The deployment contributed to the Government’s GREAT campaign, supporting UK interests across business, trade and education and promoting the best of British innovation, technology and creativity.

For 2018, the Red Arrows spearheaded celebrations marking the Royal Air Force's centenary - including providing the colourful finale to a flypast of more than 100 aircraft over central London in July of that year.

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