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C Sgt Pete Wooldridge, Lt Cdrâ??s Gordon Smith and Simon Leach on Ten Tors
Lt Cdr Gordon Smith
Lt Cdr Simon Leach in the Ops room

Smooth operations from CHF Reservists

Published: 12 May 2016

Three members of the RNR Air Branch added their experience and know how to Commando Helicopter Force's detachment on Ten Tors.

Fielding two of their new Commando Merlin helicopters, CHF were tasked to support the event, which this year attracted over two and a half thousand teenagers, spread between 400 teams.

It was also the first year for Merlins to make their mark, replacing the Sea Kings that had been used before.

Contributing from the RNR Air Branch was Lieutenant Commander Gordon Smith, part of the Mobile Air Operations Team (MAOT) on the helicopter landing site as well as Lt Cdr Scouse Leach and Colour Sergeant Pete Wooldridge in the operations room.  

"It's a very rewarding job over a very busy weekend.

Lt Cdr Simon Leach

"It's a very rewarding job over a very busy weekend," said Scouse, a veteran of over 10 Ten Tors.

"You get to know the pinch points and where and in what condition things could go wrong. But thankfully it's been sunshine and fine weather all the way, it makes all the difference."

The trio have worked together on many exercises over the years, and the home plate of Dartmoor in May can be tame to doing Air Operations on an amphibious exercise in the Med, where they are usually found. 

“I think we bring a lot of experience and continuity to the event," said Pete Wooldridge.

"There are so many moving parts to the Ten Tors Challenge; then you put two and a half thousand kids onto Dartmoor! What could possibly go wrong?" 


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