Friday, July 16, 2010

Navy pilots train for Helmand in Californian desert

Royal Navy Sea King helicopter pilots and their crews from the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) have been training for their deployment to Afghanistan in the Californian desert.

A Sea King conducting load-lifting
[Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

The pilots and aircrew from 845 and 846 Naval Air Squadrons have been undergoing environmental qualification training at the Naval Air Facility El Centro, just north of the Mexican border.

The purpose of this training, called Exercise Desert Commando, has been to refresh some of the older pilots and aircrew of the CHF in the techniques required to operate in the harsh conditions of the desert which are similar to those they will face in Helmand.

At the same time, personnel fresh to the front line are getting their first taste of what it is like to work in this environment.

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