Royal Navy aviators have completed "vital" reconnaissance sorties over Bermuda in the Caribbean ahead of the hurricane season.
The Royal Navy said three Commando Merlin helicopters from 845 Naval Air Squadron and a Wildcat from 815 Naval Air Squadron worked with the authorities in Bermuda to gather "crucial information" on landing sites that could be used in the event of an emergency.
The aircraft are in the region alongside support ship RFA Argus which is deployed to support British Overseas Territories during the hurricane season.
"As my first deployment and after a long sea transit, it was great to have the opportunity to experience the beautiful island of Bermuda from the air," said Lieutenant Matt Gordon from 845 Naval Air Squadron said.
Navy personnel also took part in search and rescue training, as well as joint exercises with the newly-formed Coast Guard in Bermuda.
The service was launched in February and aims to provide security in the seas around the islands which have a population of more than 62,000.
RFA Argus will soon join HMS Medway which has been deployed to the Caribbean for the last three months.
The River-class offshore patrol vessel is in the region as part of the Atlantic Patrol Tasking (North) - focusing on providing "reassurance" to Commonwealth and British Overseas Territories, as well as anti-drug smuggling operations and supporting humanitarian relief efforts.
Captian Phil Dennis, Commander of the Royal Navy's task group in the region, said: "RFA Argus and her ship’s company have been excellent in the delivery of a very capable ship that can operate in a multitude of roles.
“Our preparations in Bermuda demonstrate that as a Navy we can operate together, with our partners, and ensure the protection of British nationals, both within mainland UK and the Overseas Territories.”
The aircraft from 845 and 815 Naval Air Squadron embarked on RFA Argus will also work alongside 1700 Naval Air Squadron.
RFA Argus will now head for training in other British Overseas Territories, working with allied navies from France, the Netherlands and the US.
The Navy also said the ship will also be able to assist with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the region if required.
Cover image: Wildcat helicopter flies over Bermuda (Picture: Royal Navy).