400 mile cycle ride for cyclists from 849 NAS
A Team of 14 Cyclists of 849 Naval Air Squadron from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose will set off on a 400 mile adventure on Monday 18 march 2013 to the National Memorial Arboretum, NMA at Alrewas in Staffordshire.
The start of the ride begins a week commemorating the 10th anniversary of Operation Telic and the accident that killed seven members from the squadron. It will culminate on Friday 22 March at a ceremony alongside families and friends of the aircrew who died on 22 March 2003, when two Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control helicopters collided over the Northern Gulf.
The 400 mile ride will take place over five days, with the cyclists riding approximately 70 - 90 miles per day, backed up by a road support team, utilising MOD/Naval establishments on route for accommodation, allowing for a short ride into the NMA on the Friday to be met by the guest of honour on completion of the unveiling of the 849 Squadron plinth.
Lieutenant Dave Anderson an Observer on 849 NAS has organised the ride and has personal reasons for doing the trip. “I knew one of the guys who was killed on 849 Sqn and have lost good friends in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its going to be a long slog but it’ll be worth it reaching the National Memorial and raising money for charity”.
Attending the event in Staffordshire will be senior Royal Navy Officers, serving personnel from the squadron during OP Telic in 2003 and family members of those who died, including the family of Lieutenant Adams United States Navy, who was attached to the Squadron for Op Telic.
The Commanding Officer of 849 Naval Air Squadron, Lieutenant Commander Andrew Rose, would like to raise both awareness of all those members of the FAA who have made the ultimate sacrifice since World War 1, of which there are no fewer than 6000, and also raise money for three charities – the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), the NMA Appeal, and the Fly Navy Heritage Trust. The personnel from the Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control force led by CO 849, are due to arrive at 1300 on Friday 22nd March 2013 and take part in the unveiling of the newly placed 849 plinth at the FAA memorial.
At around 0430 on 22 March 2003, during the opening days of OP TELIC, two Sea King Mk7 helicopters of 849 Naval Air Squadron A Flight were involved in a tragic accident in the Northern Arabian Gulf where all 7 crew members were sadly killed.
The website for the charities is www.justgiving.com/teams/OpAardvark