British helicopters conduct Bermuda reconnaissance sorties

16 April 2020 (Last Updated April 16th, 2020 16:55)

The UK Royal Navy’s three Commando Merlin helicopters and a Wildcat have successfully concluded vital reconnaissance sorties over Bermuda.

The British Royal Navy’s Wildcat and Commando Merlin helicopters have successfully conducted vital reconnaissance sorties over Bermuda.

The search and rescue training sorties were completed following the arrival of RFA Argus support ship in Caribbean.

Merlins belong to 845 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) and the Wildcat to 815 Naval Air Squadron.

The helicopters will take part in various activities during Argus’ patrol mission, which is being conducted in support of British Overseas Territories.

Royal Navy task group in the region commander captain Phil Dennis said: “RFA Argus and her ship’s company have been excellent in the delivery of a very capable ship that can operate in a multitude of roles.

“Our preparations in Bermuda demonstrate that as a navy we can operate together, with our partners, and ensure the protection of British nationals, both within mainland UK and the Overseas Territories.”

The aircraft will also work alongside counterparts from 1700 Naval Air Squadron.

During the sorties, the aircraft collected vital information on landing sites to deliver humanitarian aid during the hurricane season. They will fly information-gathering missions and lift supplies and assist people in affected areas.

845 NAS lieutenant Matt Gordon said: “As my first deployment and after a long sea transit it was great to have the opportunity to experience the beautiful island of Bermuda from the air.”

The naval platforms also participated in joint exercises with the Bermudan coastguard to track non-compliant vessels from the air.

The Bermudan coastguard was launched in February this year.

Gordon added: “Having the chance to not only operate in a mixed formation with a Wildcat, but experience and work alongside them as we conducted search and rescue training, and the Wildcat carried out non-compliant vessel pursuit training with the Bermudan Coastguard, is something I will not forget.”