Commando Helicopter Force
Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) based at RNAS yeovilton currently consists of three Naval Air Squadrons; 845, 846 and 847 NAS. The Naval Air Squadrons of CHF are integrated under the command of a Headquarters, established to operate helicopters afloat or ashore in support of the UK armed forces. It is a combined Royal Navy and Royal Marine force that flies Sea King and Lynx helicopters that specialises in amphibious warfare.
847 NAS is in transition from Lynx Mk9A helicopters to the new Wildcat Mk1 attack helicopters.
The Sea King Mk4 aircraft of the Commando Helicopter Force will gradually be retired from service by April 2016. Its replacement, the Merlin Mk4 will be derived from Merlin Mk3 airframes currently in service with 846 NAS and 28 Sqn Royal Air Force at RAF Benson. Command of the RAF's Merlin Force (at RAF Benson) switched to the RN in October 2014. 846 NAS will be based at RAF Benson until March 2015 when it will return to Yeovilton operating Merlin Mk3. 845 NAS will follow in 2017, operating the fully navalised Merlin HC4.
The pilots are well-trained as they combine commando combat and survival skills with advanced flying skills. They operate Sea King, Merlin and Wildcat helicopters in extreme climates and conditions and their ability to work in terrain ranging from arctic to tropical jungle is second to none. Operations in Borneo in the 1960s earned them the moniker ‘Junglies’ from the troops on the ground, which current and veteran Junglies covet to this day.
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