Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme visit RNAS Yeovilton
six Members of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme visited RNAS Yeovilton (28-29th Mar). The aim of the visit was to familiarise the MPs, the vast majority of whom have no experience of the Services, with the scale and range of operations that take place at RNAS Yeovilton.
During their visit the MPs were provided a Command update from Commodore Paul Chivers OBE Commanding Officer RNAS Yeovilton and Captain Matt Briers RN, Commanding Officer Commando Helicopter Force (CHF).
Captain Briers briefed the MPs on his Force’s current operations in Afghanistan, the future transfer of the RAF Merlin to CHF and concurrent transitioning of the army-variant of the Agusta Westland’s Battlefield Reconnaissance Helicopter. The lead unit for the transition of the Wildcat is CHF’s 847 NAS, which will retire its Lynx aircraft in May 2012 and receive its first Wildcat later in 2013. To bridge this gap, 847 Sqn will operate the Lynx AH.9A in Afghanistan during early 2013.
The MPs were also welcomed at the Lynx Helicopter Force who are responsible for the Royal Navy’s Fleet of 50 Maritime Lynx helicopters. Lieutenant Commander Philip Richardson, Senior pilot 815 NAS briefed the MPs and introduced them to some of the frontline aircrew and engineers. Some of whom had recently returned from deployments with the Fleet worldwide.
On completion of the visit the MPs paid tribute to the work being undertaken by both Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel based at RNAS Yeovilton in often very challenging environments.
Images Crown copyright LPhot Al MaCleod