October 6, 2020 10.03 am This story is over 37 months old

Former Typhoon pilot takes over as Red Arrows leader

Training for the new season will begin soon

A former Typhoon jet pilot will take over from Martin Pert as the new Red Arrows Team Leader.

Squadron Leader Tom Bould, 39, will take the helm as of Monday, October 12 ready for the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team’s 2021 campaign.

Training for next year gets underway in just a few days and usually lasts six to seven months, with the latest campaign set to be the team’s 57th display season.

As Red 1 he will be primarily responsible for all aspects of the display from running the training programme and creating and choreographing a new 20-minute aerobatic show to leading the nine aircraft.

Tom, who is originally from Bradford and joined the RAF in 2005, said: “I can remember being inspired by the Red Arrows as a child – the thrill of seeing this awesome, dynamic show of speed and teamwork. It really motivated me.

“That is what I’m most looking forward to now, to have this special opportunity to create a memorable display that will inspire yet more people, of all ages and backgrounds.

“My first reaction was disbelief that I had been chosen as the next team leader, which very quickly turned into excitement then trepidation for the enormity of the job.

“The most daunting aspect of taking over as Red 1 is being able to maintain and build on the reputation that the Red Arrows have forged for the last 56 years.”

Tom flew the RAF’s Typhoon and during his frontline tour had several deployments to the Falkland Islands, as well as exercises in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

He was also formerly a Red Arrows team pilot between 2015 and 2017 in the Reds 5, 7 and 6 positions and took part in large tours including to China.

More recently he has been a flight commander on IV(AC) Squadron at RAF Valley, teaching the next generation of fast-jet pilots using the Hawk T2 aircraft.

Squadron Leader Martin Pert, Team Leader and Red 1 for the Red Arrows. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Squadron Leader Martin Pert’s three-year tour as Team Leader will finish at the end of this week.

Tom added: “I’d like to thank my predecessor, Squadron Leader Martin Pert, who has done an amazing job leading the team for the last three years and showcasing the very best of British.”

| Photo: Caroline Haycock

The 2021 team

  • Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team – Wing Commander David Montenegro
  • Red 1 and Team Leader – Squadron Leader Tom Bould
  • Red 2 – Flight Lieutenant Will Cambridge
  • Red 3 – Flight Lieutenant Nick Critchell
  • Red 4 – Flight Lieutenant James Turner
  • Red 5 – Flight Lieutenant David Simmonds
  • Red 6 – Flight Lieutenant Jon Bond
  • Red 7 – Squadron Leader Gregor Ogston
  • Red 8 – Flight Lieutenant Damo Green
  • Red 9 – Squadron Leader Steve Morris
  • Red 10 and Supervisor – Squadron Leader Adam Collins