Flight 206 of 815 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) have been welcomed home by loved ones after a successful completion of a 7 month Atlantic Patrol on-board HMS Richmond.
Lieutenant Commander (Lt Cdr) Jayne Green (30) from Sherborne, 206 Flight Commander, brought them home to Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton after having deployed on 5 August 2013 on HMS Richmond.
Whilst away they have spent 2881 hours at sea, covered a distance of 33316 nautical miles, visited seven foreign countries (Portugal, Cape Verde, South Africa, Panama, Colombia, Bahamas and the United States of America) and five British Overseas Territories (Ascension Island, St Helena, Falkland Islands, Tristan da Cunha and South Georgia) while conducting regional engagement and maritime security.
Lt Cdr Jayne Green said “It has been a very challenging deployment but very rewarding with some fantastic opportunities.
“I have missed my family but face time and Skype made it much easier to keep in touch. With only 4 days down time since Christmas I’m really looking forward to some leave.”
John Green, Jayne’s Dad wrote to her every day while she was away, he said “I just liked to natter on about day to day stuff, like we were having a real chat together.
Sam Creswell from Yeovil was there to meet her husband of just 8 months Pilot Lieutenant (Lt) Nick Creswell (27). Sam said “We were married on 29 June 2013 and 5 weeks later Nick deployed for 7 months.
“I am very excited and may have gone a little over the top with the welcome home balloons but we have missed Christmas, Valentines and both our birthdays.
“I have even baked his two favourite cakes, Chocolate and Carrot!”
Claire Kean, wife of returning Leading Aircraft Engineering Technician (LAET) Neil Kean, while waiting patiently for her husband to return said “It has been such a long time. I’m feeling very excited and a little nervous, cant wait to have him back home!”
In the Falklands 206 patrolled the waters around the Islands and mid deployment saw them disembark to Ysterplaat Air Base (South African Air Force- SAAF) where it conducted essential overland training including mountain flying and formation flying with SAAF Super Lynx .
Passing through the Magellan Strait en-route to Panama, further maritime security patrols were conducted in support of British allies in the Eastern Pacific
A transit through the Panama Canal was followed by a visit to Colombia in support of the Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the final stop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida saw the opportunity to train with the United States’ Coast Guard and conduct deck landings with one of their aircraft.
The trans-Atlantic crossing back to the UK was, as Lt Cdr Jayne Green said “very stormy!”
En route home, 206 Flight crew member Petty Officer Chris Jones was dropped off in Cardiff on a football pitch behind Cardiff Hospital to meet his new baby son!
Ioan Jones was born prematurely at 0230 on Monday 17 Feb 2014 while Daddy was away at sea. Mummy, Daddy and Baby Jones are all doing well and happy to be back together!
Press Release, February 21, 2014, 2014; Image: Royal Navy