Exercises

Helicopters From Across Armed Forces Unite On Exercise Hawk Owl

Exercise Hawk Owl involves aircraft from the Royal Air Force, Fleet Air Arm and the Army Air Corps.

Aircraft from across the Armed Forces have gathered at RAF Leeming for one of Joint Helicopter Command's (JHC) biggest exercises of the year.

Exercise Hawk Owl involves more than 300 personnel from the RAF, Fleet Air Arm and the Army Air Corps.

The aim of the exercise is to teach experienced aircrew to instruct more junior colleagues on how to use the aircraft in war scenarios and how to mitigate threats.

Master Aircrew Vince Bartlett, a Chinook aircrew instructor, said the exercise is important to provide "all of our tactical knowledge implemented right across the Armed Forces".

Puma helicopters have been used on the exercise as well as Chinooks, Merlins and Wildcats.
Puma helicopters have been used on the exercise as well as Chinooks, Merlins and Wildcats.

Among the scenarios practised was putting fictional troops on the ground to assault a building.

Flight Sergeant Larry Clark, from RNS Wing at RAF Benson, said: "I remember doing a few operations like that on Operation Herrick.

"We would take people into known or suspected IED factories or to conduct coordinate search operations in certain villages.

"So, it is very representative of recent operations."

The JHC, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, uses RAF Leeming every year for Exercise Hawk Owl.

The course takes five weeks to complete.