Whilst deployed on operations in the Middle East, HMS Defender’s helicopter Miss Adventure has celebrated her 35th birthday.
The Westland Lynx Mk 8 helicopter normally based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovil has been embarked on the fifth Type 45 Destroyer since the Ship departed Portsmouth at the beginning of June.
This isn’t the first time that the helicopter has been engaged in patrols in and around the Middle East and Indian Ocean either.
Last year she was embarked on HMS Westminster conducting anti-narcotic and anti-piracy patrols, and clocked up over 400 flying hours in a seven month trip.
Miss Adventure’s current deployment has seen her work closely with American Aircraft Carriers; USS George H W Bush, USS Carl Vincent and other coalition units, assisting them to provide force protection, surveillance, and logistics support.
Miss Adventure and her flight of seven maintainers and three aircrew make up 217 Flight and have worked round the clock during the deployment to maintain a high level of readiness for whatever tasking is given at a moment’s notice.
Over Miss Adventure’s 35 years of Naval service, she has had many modifications embodied, taking her from a basic Lynx Mk 2, to her highly capable configuration of a Lynx Mk 8 SRU.
In her early days, she even saw action in Northern Ireland working around the coastline of Belfast and also in the Falklands Conflict in 1982.
This is likely to be Miss Adventure’s final tour of duty before retiring following the introduction of the Lynx Wildcat replacement which is due to start operational tasking in 2015.
Her current Senior Maintenance Rating Chief Petty Officer ‘Fred’ Bassett said,
She may be an old girl, but with some tender loving care she has done us proud.
Following a successful deployment in the Gulf Region, HMS Defender is due to return to the UK for Christmas.
Press release, Image: UK Navy