Monday, 20 November 2017
logo
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.
        



dv-header-dday
     |      View our Twitter page at twitter.com/defenceredbox     |     

defencenews

The Royal Navy's Sea King Mk7 Force have completed their 1,000th operational mission in Afghanistan.

Sea King helicopter squadrons from Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose have been operating from Camp Bastion since 2009 and have contributed to the confiscation of significant amounts of IED-making equipment, arms and drugs, and the detainment of suspected insurgents.

Following their help, on a recent vehicle interdiction, ground forces seized over 1,200kg of unprocessed wet opium with a street value of around 1.9m.

Royal Navy Airborne Surveillance and Control helicopters operate like 'flying radar stations', detecting enemy aircraft, ships and even vehicle movements over land.

Their job is primarily to provide Royal Navy ships with protection against low-flying enemy aircraft and missiles, using radar to detect enemy aircraft, feeding the information back to the ship for investigation, and, if necessary, directing the aircraft sent to intercept them.

However, the helicopters are currently proving equally effective operating over land, providing wide area surveillance in Afghanistan. Being based on-scene at Camp Bastion, aircrews are able to react swiftly to events on the ground, directing coalition aircraft and ground forces to investigate, and in some cases destroy, suspected enemy targets.

Two RNAS Culdrose-based squadrons take rotating one-year tenures in theatre. During their time in theatre, 854 and 857 Naval Air Squadrons have enabled the discovery of significant amounts of IED-making equipment, arms, drugs and suspected insurgents.

They have regularly directed ground forces to vehicles laden with fertiliser, electric wiring and batteries, all of which are used to make explosives. Their actions have directly helped to save the lives of Afghan citizens and coalition troops.

Operating in desert conditions in temperatures ranging from minus 10 to 45 degrees Celsius, and, with the ever-present threat of enemy action, the helicopters have had a number of enhancements fitted. They have improved engines and different rotor blades, are night-vision-capable, and carry a sophisticated defensive aids suite.

To maintain the core maritime skills of our Sea King crews, the 'off watch' squadron embarks upon various Royal Navy warships to hone their maritime skills, ensuring that they remain fully capable of protecting UK forces at sea.

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Cookies
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Defence Viewpoints website. However, if you would like to, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set. You may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers. Please note that you will lose some features and functionality on this website if you choose to disable cookies. For example, you may not be able to link into our Twitter feed, which gives up to the minute perspectives on defence and security matters.