RAF appoint first ever female bomber commander

A Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado GR4 fighter jet. (Reuters/Str)
The Royal Air Force (RAF) has appointed a female bomber commander for the first time in its history.

The woman, who will be named later this week, is reportedly a war veteran. She will be given control of at least 250 highly trained staffers in her new capacity as commander of a squad of bomber aircraft.

She will take charge of roughly 16 Tornado GR4 jets, based at RAF Marham in Norfolk, as well as commanding two other as yet unnamed Tornado squadrons.

She will also oversee 30 of Britain’s best fighter pilots and work with some of the RAF’s most sophisticated flying equipment.

Her senior position means she is likely to take part in the coordination of current RAF strikes against the Islamic State

AFP Photo/Paul Ellis

(IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) targets in Iraq. The aircraft soon to be under her control have already taken part in raids against IS and were used during the British operation in Afghanistan.

A source told the Daily Mirror the woman was “extremely accomplished” and would bring “an absolute wealth of experience” to the role.

“This person – who will be named later this week – is an extremely accomplished member of the RAF's aviator elite.”

“She will bring with her an absolute wealth of experience of the front line and will carry a huge weight of responsibility, which she has demonstrated she is best qualified to do,” they added.

They also said the new bomber commander would be the most senior pilot to fly on missions against “whatever threat comes along,” adding she would get training in “escape and evasion” techniques in the event of being shot down in enemy territory.

The pilot’s specialty is reportedly flying the £9.4 million Tornado jet, which costs a staggering £35,000 an hour to fly.