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Royal Navy Seaking Mk4 Helicopters Over Northern Norway
Royal Navy Seaking Mk4 helicopters from 845 Naval Air Squadron conducting Arctic flying training over the snow covered mountains of northern Norway.
Situated some 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle at the Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) training facility near Bardufoss, Northern Norway, the JHC base known as 'Clockwork' provides survival and operational training and support facilities to enable aviation capable units arms to survive, operate and fight in extreme cold weather environments.
JHC 'Clockwork' has provided Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) with an Arctic base for over 40 years the training provided by the facility is as relevant today as it has always been. It enables CHF to prepare for future operations and is fundamental to the delivery of littoral manoeuvre for the Royal Navy given the geography and excellent facilities that exist in the local area.
150 Naval personnel from Commando Helicopter Force normally based at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset will take part in their annual winter training exercise in Northern Norway. Aircrews, engineers and support staff from 845 Naval Air Squadron flying Royal Navy Sea King Mk4 helicopters will conduct essential Environmental Training (ET) and Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) in preparation for future deployments.
At the same time around 50 Naval personnel attached to 28 Squadron Royal Air Force from RAF Benson will also conduct Arctic flying training with the Augusta Westland Merlin Mk 3 helicopter.
This image was a winner in the 2014 RN Peregrine Trophy Competition
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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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HMS Exeter is shown in the foreground with HMS Illustrious, taking part in Exercise Neptune Warrior
HMS Exeter is shown in the foreground with HMS Illustrious, taking part in Exercise Neptune Warrior.
Having spent two years embarking periodically in HMS Invincible as the High-Readiness Aircraft Carrier, 801 NAS had just returned from 6 weeks training with HMS Illustrious, in order to assist in her preparations for the role. Embarking for the second and third phases of her Operational Sea Training (OST) package, together with 849 Squadron A Flight Sea King Mk 7s and a Sea King Mk 6 of 771 Squadron, 801's Sea Harrier FA2s tailored their flying to provide progressive training for all of HMS Illustrious' newly formed crew.
After two weeks of combined Fixed and Rotary Wing flying operations, HMS Illustrious next embarked the RAF Harrier GR7's of 1(F) Squadron, who soon adjusted to the unique demands of operating from an Aircraft Carrier at sea. It was at this point, after three intensive weeks that HMS Illustrious and her Tailored Air Group (TAG) were assessed to be fit to continue into Phase 3 of OST, where a highflying rate would be integrated into a tactical scenario.
Following a brief port visit to Newcastle, in order to refresh all embarked personnel and conduct essential maintenance, HMS Illustrious sailed with her full complement of TAG for Exercise Neptune Warrior. This Exercise had an extremely large number of multinational participants, ranging from HMAS Anzac (an Australian Frigate), to a Dutch Submarine, and was conducted in the challenging waters of the North-West Scottish coast. Neptune Warrior pitted two large Naval Task Groups against each other in a complex Political scenario, and enabled the TAG to operate in a Maritime Strike role, focussing on the GR7s Strike capability
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