New home for the eyes of the fleet
The Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC) helicopter squadrons, all of which are based at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, are moving from their existing old hangarage (first built in 1946) to a completely new fully modernised facility. The new hangar and Squadron office accommodation has been given the name “Palembang” after the battle of Palembang in Indonesia in which all three squadrons took part during World War II.
The ASaC squadrons, 849, 854 and 857 Naval Air Squadrons, all equipped with the Mk VII Sea King, provide an “eye-in-the-sky” capability giving vital information to command at sea or on land. Originally designed to identify potential aerial targets and provide early warning to the Fleet at sea, the Searchwater 2000 radar and system operators in the ASaC helicopters have proved highly effective at tracking both maritime and land targets over a wide area and in many different environments, most notably during current operations in Afghanistan.
The Commanding Officer of 849 Squadron, Lieutenant Commander Chris Trubshaw, said: “The move to the new facilities at Palembang Building mark a significant step forward for the operating of the ASaC capability and a large improvement in the working environment for the men and women of all three Squadrons whilst here at RNAS Culdrose. It also marks the end of 6 years of concerted effort from the Station, Squadron and building partners who must be rightly proud of what has been achieved here. Having been involved in the project from the beginning, I am delighted to be the first occupant of our brand new building.”
Members 854 Squadron have just returned from Afghanistan having been relieved, after 15 months in theatre, by their sister squadron 857.
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