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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 Lancaster at Sea
Pictured is HMS Lancasterat sea.
HMS Lancaster was built on the Clyde as the fourth of the Type 23 frigates joining the Fleet in 1992. This versatile multi-role ship can typically be deployed drug-busting in the Caribbean or East of Suez on maritime security patrols.
All the ships in the Type 23 class are named after Dukes, in this case, the Duke of Lancaster - who is also better known as Her Majesty the Queen. The British Monarch is the ship's very special sponsor and Her Majesty takes a keen interest in Lancaster's activities around the globe.
In 2013, HMS Lancaster spent seven months in the North Atlantic and Caribbean, successfully seizing drugs worth a total street value of £160m. During six raids, the ship intercepted 1.2 tonnes of cocaine and almost 1.5 tonnes of cannabis. 23 drug runners were detained, effectively disrupting the distribution of drugs throughout the region.
Lancaster visited all six of the British Overseas Territories in the region and the Commonwealth states of Jamaica, Belize and Barbados while also making calls into the islands of Curacao, Martinique and visiting Columbia in South America. The ship also took part in Exercise Unitas a multi-national exercise involving 16 warships and submarines from nine nations ranging from Canada to Chile.
On returning from her deployments HMS Lancaster is often greeted, wherever possible, by a Lancaster bomber of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which provides a fly past over Portsmouth harbour. *** Local Caption *** Pictured is HMS Lancaster afer her last Replenishment at sea (RAS) with RFA Gold Rover
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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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