FAA squadron twinned with a South Korean squadron
A hand of friendship reaches across thousands of miles as a new affiliation is created as 815 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) is twinned with 627 Squadron of the Republic of Korea Navy during a ceremony held on board HMS Daring.
627 Squadron currently flies the Super Lynx with a very similar role to 815 NAS, providing Flights to frigates and destroyers of the Republic of Korea Navy on security patrols both around the Korean Peninsula and as far west as the Gulf of Aden on counter piracy duties.
In a further sign of the two squadrons' similarity, 627 are due to transition over the next few years to the AgustaWestland 159 ASW Variant, sister to our own Wildcat, and this gave the perfect opportunity for the affiliation to be arranged.
The Commanding Officer of 815 Squadron, Commander Alastair Haigh, said "This is a hugely significant new affiliation with a very capable new partner in a part of the world that is likely to become increasingly important to the Royal Navy and the UK as a whole. I am very excited by the opportunities this affiliation will bring in terms of sharing operational experience and knowledge, and I know we will be able to learn from our new partners, as they will from us."
The affiliation was marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Commander Haigh and his opposite number Commander Ha, Sung Wook, watched by the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas (right) and the Korean Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Jung, Ho Sub (centre), accompanied by the Korean Commander of Naval Aviation Flotilla, Rear Admiral Shim, Jae Ok (left). This was followed by the traditional exchange of gifts.
Cdr Haigh added "by signing this Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) on board Daring during her visit to Korea, I was able to catch up with Daring Flight and hear at first hand the tales of their recent outstanding flying during disaster relief operations in the Philippines. We were also able to host members of 627 Squadron for a tour of the world's most advanced air defence destroyer, as well as a reciprocal visit to Jin Hae base, the home of 627 Squadron. This visit gave the affiliation a flying start and we look forward to further exciting interaction with 627 Squadron in the years to come."