SERCO HAND OVER SEA KING MAINTENANCE TO 845 NAVAL AIR SQUADRON
Today saw the handover of the last Sea King Mk4 from SERCO engineers to the Commando Helicopter Force 845 Naval Air Squadron engineering unit after 23 years of continuous support to the Front Line.
From 1992 SERCO personnel undertook Depth Maintenance of all the Mk4 fleet of aircraft before becoming the CHF SERCO ‘Op Support’ Team in 2006 where they delivered modifications programs and Operational Support to all Sea King aircraft on 845, 846 and 848 Naval Air Squadrons, vitally freeing up personnel to conduct Operations inAfghanistan.
From 2008 two 12 strong teams were responsible for delivering Desert Recovery and Zonal husbandry packages to the Front Line Squadrons, working approximately 12 aircraft per year over 3-5000 man hours per aircraft, this period alone constituted well over a quarter of a million man hours of support.
With the reduction of the CHF Sea King fleet as it heads towards retirement in April 2016, SERCO personnel continued to deliver this support to 845 Squadron with a single 7 man team, the impending Mk4 Out Of Service date coupled with the withdrawal from Afghanistan, led to the Operational Support no longer being required.
Mr Dave Sheppard formally handing the MF700A, the aircraft maintenance logbook, for the last aircraft to be worked by his SERCO team, ZG821, to WO1 Adey Shepherd, the Senior Maintenance Rating of 845NAS, signalled the end of nearly a quarter of a decade of SERCO involvement in the maintenance of CHF aircraft.
As the team prepare to depart Lt Cdr Rob Martin, AEO of 845 NAS, thanked Mr Sheppard and his team for their continual support. Cdr Gavin Simmonite, Commanding Officer of 845 NAS, said,
“Over the years, Serco engineers at RNAS Yeovilton have delivered outstanding support to the Commando Helicopter Force and been the unsung heroes of the Junglie community. Their continual dedication, professionalism and hard work has provided Sea King Mk4 helicopters to support Squadron operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, contingency operations and embarked exercises around the globe, engineer and aircrew training and UK standing home commitments.”
“On behalf of myself, all the previous Squadron Commanding Officers and Engineering Management Teams, I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation for all they have done.” He added.