Commissioning painting unveiled for Maritime Aviation Support Force
The Maritime Aviation Support Force (MASF) held an official unveiling of their commissioning painting with the Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral David Steel CBE DL at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, during a recent visit to the Base.
The Commissioning Painting was created by the renowned military artist Mandy Shepherd who said “Creating a painting that best represents the organisation has been an inspirational challenge; I hope it is a fair reflection of all who work in this important part of the Royal Navy.” The watercolour painting shows a number of vignette type images including vessels that MASF operate with, aircraft launch/recovery and personnel at work that reflect the breadth of aviation and force protection activity that MASF delivers to the Fleet.
At a small ceremony in their Force Headquarters, Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Steve Griffin briefed the Admiral on the many and varied roles which personnel from MASF undertake across the Fleet.
“MASF is a key resource that meets personnel requirements and provides essential naval aviation support to operations for ships and land bases globally,” said Steve. “We have the ability to pull together tailored teams consisting of: flight deck crews, survival equipment specialists, aircraft controllers, logisticians, engineers and medics. Whether it’s two or fifty personnel, we have the lot.”
The Admiral also got a chance to find out more about MASF from those who support the Force when deployed. The Force has 220 personnel on the books, of which 111 are at present away from theirWest Cornwallhome. They can be found from as far afield as the South Atlantic onboard HMS Clyde to theMiddle Eastand with HMS Bulwark as part of Cougar 14. Very often MASF is wherever there are active Royal Naval Aviation assets.
More than 50 men and women - nearly half of MASF deployed personnel - are assigned to RFA Argus permanently. She is currently working with the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Merlin Mk 2s of 820 Naval Air Squadron off the coast ofSierra Leonesupporting Operation Gritrock, the UK Governments response to the fight against Ebola.
Steve added, “MASF is a unique Unit and has many moving parts, often spread around the world. The Admiral was impressed by the dedication of MASF personnel and it was great for our people to chat with him about their experiences and views on life in the RN.”