CULDROSE HAWKS SPREAD THEIR WINGS ACROSS EUROPE
Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose’s very own fast jet unit is getting ready to support exercises and tasks across Europe in the coming weeks.
736 Naval Air Squadron are equipped with 14 Hawk T Mk1 twin seat fast jet aircraft, and is the Royal Navy’s Maritime Adversary Squadron, providing airborne threat simulations that allow realistic training at sea. They also simulate ship attack and airborne intercept training for the Fleet and other Naval Air Squadrons undergoing operational work-ups on exercises. Their missions can simulate an enemy’s fighter aircraft attacking the warships, or high-speed sea-skimming missiles which are fired against ships, affording the crew critical training in procedures to avoid and reduce any damage caused.
“We are starting a particularly busy period for the squadron,” said Lieutenant Commander Nick Mattock, Senior Pilot of 736 NAS. “We are deploying aircraft to Gibraltar in support a major Multi-National Task Group exercise in the Mediterranean; part of UK Defence preparing to operate the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers. At the same time several aircraft are working at RNAS Yeovilton for their Air Day and two Jets will be participating in a truly historic formation with the UK’s new F35B’s, flying over HMS Queen Elizabeth in Scotland.”
Later on in the year they will also be deployed further East in the Mediterranean supporting the Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime) on exercise in Albania and further north on exercise Joint Warrior off the coast of Scotland.
“These exercises really demonstrate what 736 NAS provides to the RN and UK Defence,” said Commanding Officer Lt Cdr Barry Issitt. “We’ve recently had a few new joiners and it’s an exciting time to get everyone involved in the wide variety of tasks we support in the UK with Flag Officer Sea Training in Plymouth, as well as wider exercises across the Fleet and around the globe.”