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Sea King and Wildcat working together

Published: 31 Jul 2014

Sea King and Wildcat helicopters joined forces with Royal Marines Commandos for a series of exercises to prepare for sea and land operations.

Organised by Commando Helicopter Force (CHF), Exercise Forlorn Hope involved a Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control (SKASaC) aircraft, two Wildcats and two Junglie Sea Kings.

A ground extraction force from 40 Cdo and 45 Cdo was also involved, along with forward air controllers from 847 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), CHF medics and personnel from 845 NAS, with 42 Cdo playing the role of the enemy.

The aim of the exercise, which was run from RNAS Yeovilton, was to recover personnel from front-line operations ahead of working with the Maritime Task Group and Lead Commando Group.

The SKASaC and Wildcat conducted intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sweeps of the pick-up area on Okehampton Range, and quickly identified enemy forces. 

Following simulated air strikes on the enemy vehicles, Junglies and Wildcat flew in to pick up a ‘downed’ crew.

Forlorn Hope is a historic term which dates back to musket-armed troops chosen for forward assaults on defended positions, where the risk of casualties was high. A forlorn hope would comprise volunteers, led by a junior officer. Those who survived and performed courageously would expect to be promoted.


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