Merlins replace Sea King fleet

The transition of the Merlin Mk 3 from the RAF to the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF), replacing the Sea King Mk 4, has begun in earnest at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.

Captain Matt Briers RN, CO CHF, has been there to meet CHF personnel who are working on the RAF Merlin Force. The 34 RN maintainers, six pilots and six aircrewmen are learning the skills needed to operate and maintain the complex aircraft.

The RN maintainers are made up of experienced Merlin Mk 1 and Sea King Mk 4 engineers from RNAS Culdrose and RNAS Yeovilton.

Captain Briers said: “I am absolutely delighted that transition has got off to such an excellent start. The RN contingent have been warmly welcomed by their RAF counterparts and have already started to make a notable contribution to the engineering effort.”

Capt Briers added: “The professionalism and drive of our people to get involved in all aspects of the RAF Merlin Force has made an excellent impression across both frontline squadrons at RAF Benson. They have also got heavily immersed on deployed operations, both on pre-deployment-training in Jordan and in Afghanistan on Op Herrick.”

Source/Author: British Forces News

Picture: British Forces News