RAF Chinook Carrying Army Land Rover
A Royal Air Force Chinook helicopter is pictured carrying an Army Land Rover as part of Exercise Wessex Thunder.
RAF Chinooks from RAF Odiham taking part in Exercise Wessex Thunder (Ex WT) on Salisbury Plain. Ex WT saw 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) working with the Omani Western Frontier Regiment from the Royal Omani Army over a 2 week lonf exercise which concluded in a co-ordinated attack on the urban warfare training facility at Copehill Down. 2 PARA launched the initial assault with the Omani troops arriving by two Chinook's to reinforce the paras and complete the capture of the village.
The Chinook's also moved vehicles around the plain as underslung loads.
Royal Air Force Odiham is situated in North Hampshire, 46 Miles south west of London . The nearest large town is Basingstoke, 7 miles to the West. The working population of the Station is about 2, 000, of which around 100 are civilians.
Royal Air Force Odiham operates three Support Helicopter (SH) squadrons and one Army Air Corps (AAC) Lynx squadron. A conversion flight is incorporated in one of SH squadrons. The flying units are supported by Forward Support Wing, which provides 2nd line aircraft, equipment engineering and logistics support, and by Base Support Wing, which manages the Station infrastructure, finance, welfare and other support tasks. Ops Wing is responsible for co-ordinating all aspects of operational and logistic output and also manages the airfield services.
Nos 7, 18 (B) and 27 squadrons, equipped with the Chinook HC2, HC2A and HC3 and No 657 Squadron (AAC) with its Lynx AH7s, operate in support of NATO and UK interests worldwide, providing direct support to the Army. No 18 (B) Squadron additionally operates a training flight to convert pilots and crewmen to fly the Chinook. The Joint Helicopter Support Squadron is also based at Royal Air Force Odiham and deploys with the squadrons to provide specialist underslung load support and landing site management in
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Blues and Royals at Horse Guards
Pictured are Blues and Royals horses at Horse Guards.
The Blues and Royals were formed in 1969 from an amalgamation of the Royal Horse Guards, which was known as "the Blues" or "the Oxford Blues", and the Royal Dragoons, which was known as "the Royals".
As a result of the Options for Change Review in 1991, the Blues and Royals formed a union for operational purposes with the Life Guards as the Household Cavalry Regiment.
However, they each maintain their regimental identity, with distinct uniforms and traditions, and their own colonel. The Blues and Royals currently has two reconnaissance squadrons in Windsor, which are part of the Household Cavalry Regiment, and a mounted squadron in London as part of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.
Instead of being known as the Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons, the regiment is known as the Blues and Royals and is therefore the only regiment in the British Army to be officially known by their nickname as opposed to their full name.
On ceremonial occasions, the Blues and Royals wear a blue tunic (inherited from the Royal Horse Guards, also known as "the Blues"), a metal cuirass, and a matching helmet with a red plume worn unbound, and against popular belief the regiment's farriers wear a red plume like the rest of the regiment but do not wear the metal cuirass. In addition, the Blues and Royals wear their chin strap under their chin, as opposed to the Life Guards, who wear it below their lower lip.
On service dress, the Blues and Royals wear a blue lanyard on the left shoulder, as well as a Sam Browne belt containing a whistle. In most dress orders, the Waterloo Eagle is worn on the left arm as part of dress traditions.
The Blues and Royals, as part of the Household Division, does not use the Order of the Bath Star for its officer rank pips, but rather the Order of the Garter Star
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202(R) Sqn Personnel Dry Winching
Pictured are Rear-crew of a Griffin HT1 Helicopter from 202(R) Sqn training on Anglesey.
202(R) Sqn "The Mucky Ducks" train Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Helicopter Pilots and Rear-crew in the disciplines of Mountain and Maritime Flying. Elements of Search and Rescue are also part of the training, to give the trainees a taste of what winching down from the aircraft feels like. This training consists of simulator training, in a classroom.
They then move on to the physical simulator, called the Parrot, where the cab of an old huey is fitted with a winch, they have different terrains to then practice on, ranging from undulating terrain through to a simulated boat pitching up and down. After this phase, they move to the dry winching, photographed here. By this point, the principles of winching should be much easier, so the students aren't overloaded by the whole scenario, they go through the drills of spotting a casualty, directing the pilot to the casualty whilst having a winchman below the aircraft, recovering the casualty and then returning to station.
Following this phase, the students go out to sea, and winch from the MOD boat Smit.
202(R) Sqn is a whole force squadron, with Cobham pilots, winchmen and engineers working alongside RAF and Royal Navy Pilots and winchmen, giving the best experience and training possible.
Students graduating from 202(R) Sqn can go on to fly the Merlin, Wildcat, Chinook, Puma or Sea King (Navy).
202(R) Sqn "The Mucky Ducks" Provide all Royal Air Force and Royal Navy helicopter aircrew with basic Mountain, Maritime and Littoral flying skills by day and night and deliver advanced Search and Rescue training to military aircrew destined for specific roles.
RAF aircrew selected for Search and Rescue duties on helicopters proceed to 202(R) Squadron at RAF Valley alongside their colleagues from the Royal Navy and Army.
The aircraft itself is a modern version of the famous Huey family of helicopters used by many armed forces around