Merlin Mk3 Aircraft from the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) have returned to base this week following their deployment to Gibraltar, achieving several training evolutions in the process.
The Commando Merlin’s from 846 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) departed Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) and flew through Europe to The Rock of Gibraltar for a week of training and support to other forces.
Crewed by members of the Operational Conversion Flight (OCF), these were the first Merlin students to receive continental navigation training as part of their qualification on the aircraft.
Alongside essential training for OCF 846 NAS also operated with the Gibraltar Patrol Boat Squadron where they achieved mutually beneficial winch transfer training as well as tactical formation flying. The aircraft, 12 Aircrew and 40 Engineers also flew in support of the Commander of British Forces (CBF) (Gibraltar), assisting with several long term projects.
Pilot, Lieutenant Commander (Lt Cdr) Alex Hampson on his return from Gibraltar said;
“Deploying to The Rock has once again proven Commando Merlin’s ability to travel a considerable distance from her home base of RNAS Yeovilton, work with units not commonly associated with them as well as assisting CBF. In all, the detachment has been a huge success.”