Navy

Happy Homecoming: Navy Helicopter Crews Return From Carrier Sea Trials

The Merlins of 845 Squadron spent time with HMS Queen Elizabeth off America's east coast.

Navy helicopter pilots who took part in sea trials with aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth have returned home.

Three Merlin aircraft joined the Queen Elizabeth-class ship during the deployment off the east coast of the United States.

845 Squadron flew in formation as they returned to Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton on Tuesday.

Lieutenant Commander Bob Powell said he greatly enjoyed his experience on board the aircraft carrier:

"They've been brilliant to be fair. It's one of the highlights of my career.

"We went on board, it's a brand new aircraft carrier, brand new jets with the F-35 and for us it's a new version of the Merlin."

Welcomed back to home turf.

"For me, I think a particular highlight was flying through Washington DC at 200 feet to deliver personnel."

For the personnel involved, it has been a long time away from their loved ones.

Lieutenant Commander Powell's wife Alison said: "We've been counting down the days, weeks, months and it's almost unbelievable that the day is here.

"It's hard with him away, but he's been doing such a brilliant job and so many firsts on the aircraft carrier."

HMS Queen Elizabeth and her company are expected to arrive back at Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth on Wednesday.