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RAF Chinook Carrying Army Land Rover Featured RAF Print

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 Featured RAF Print

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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202(R) Sqn Personnel Dry Winching Featured RAF Print

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