A pilot stationed at the same RAF base as Prince William is to undergo a sex
A helicopter pilot stationed at the same RAF base as Prince William is to undergo a sex change, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
Flight Lieutenant Ian Holdom, 29, who flies with the Search and Rescue Force (Sarf) wants to become a woman called Ayla.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman stressed the RAF officer’s plans to change sex were not an issue for the service – only if he could do the job.
William is training to becoming a helicopter with Sarf and is using the same officer’s mess at RAF Valley on Anglesey, North Wales, as Flt Lt Holdom but it is not known if they have met.
The 29-year-old is a Sea King helicopter co-pilot while the prince will not complete his studies until September, so there is no prospect of the two flying together in the near future, said the MoD spokesman.
The Sun newspaper reported that Flt Lt Holdom told friends he had been diagnosed with gender dysmorphia and expected to become a woman in the next 12 months.
The second-in-line to the throne will be based at RAF Valley if he successfully completes his military training and will start as co-pilot.
The MoD spokesman said: “This is no big deal for the RAF, or the services in general for that matter, whether you are talking about trans-gender or homosexuality. All we have to deal with is can that person do the job, can Ian fly as a co-pilot in the search and rescue?”
Flight Lieutenant Wales, 27, can expect to be promoted to captain and overall control of the helicopter in the coming years, but how quickly will depend on his ability and performance.
William could find himself flying rescue missions to Northern Ireland as RAF Valley in North Wales routinely responds to calls from Ulster.