In April this year a detachment of 4 Sea King Mk4s and 83 personnel from 845 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) of the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) embarked in HMS Ocean for Exercise Joint Warrior 15.
Joint Warrior represents the very best opportunity for CHF to conduct targeted and realistic training for amphibious operations – the role for which the Force was originally conceived.
Joint Warrior this year was, however, more than just an annual amphibious exercise for the Sea King Mk4 community. It was the final time that the venerable Sea King Mk4 would take part in Joint Warrior as it is due to go out of service in March 2016.
The responsibility of providing the specialist airborne insertion and tactical transport to the Royal Marines is being handed over to 845’s sister squadron, 846 NAS with their Merlin Mk3s.
The Merlin will give the ‘Junglies’ an improved load lifting and range capability which will mean they can deliver more Royal Marines, with more equipment, further inland.
HMS Ocean sailed from Plymouth on 7th April; onboard were four Sea Kings Mk4s and a SAR Sea King Mk5 from 771 NAS and they were joined by two Chinooks and two Apaches.
Image: Royal Navy