News

Royal Marines Mark Landowner's Day From The Air

The Commando Helicopter Force uses land on a good-will basis, training aircrews for operations overseas and practicing landing and low...

The Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) has taken farmers to the skies over the south west of England to thank them for their support over the last year.

The CHF uses land on a good-will basis, training aircrews for operations overseas and practicing landing and low flying.

Known as 'Landowner's Day', the event took place at RNAS Merryfield in Ilminster to thank the local farmers.

"Normally when aircrew are training, they're training in an airfield environment, in prepared sites," says the Deputy Commander of the CHF, Commander Graeme Spence.

"There is a skill required to enable people to operate safely when they land in an unrecced, unprepared landing site.

"That's where we place a lot of emphasis in training guys so that they are comfortable in doing that."

Landowner's Day

Wildcat pilot Lieutenant Matthew Clark said: "We've had a really good interest...160 people here today from all throughout the south-west, very interested in seeing both the Merlin and Wildcat helicopter here today."

The Commando Helicopter Force, nicknamed the ‘Junglies’ after their 1960s operations in Borneo, is a branch of the Royal Marines.

It is made up of three Naval Air Squadrons flying Commando Merlin and Commando Wildcat helicopters, a Combat Service Support squadron and a deployable Headquarters for Command and Control.

The Commando Helicopter Force recently took over the Merlin Mk3 helicopter from the RAF, and it is now undergoing an upgrade as it moves towards becoming the advanced Merlin Mk4.