RNAS Culdrose's Merlin helicopter force has been restructured with the decommissioning of 829 Naval Air Squadron, who will now form a 'Merlin super squadron' by moving to 814 Naval Air Squadron.
The Merlin Mark Two has been operating around the world since 2014 and its role with 829 NAS especially valuable to defence in the current climate.
They have formed part of the UK's nuclear deterrent, chasing and tracking Russian submarines from the back of Type 23 Frigates. Pilot, Lieutenant Victor Currie says;
"The Merlin itself is a multi-capable aircraft, it can do lots of different things.
"Here, the job we've been doing, flying off the back of frigates is anti-submarine warfare. So hunting submarines, locating them, tracking them, and potentially having to attack them, should the situation call for it."
This bespoke capability, along with their motto “they will not escape” will go with them to 814 NAS.
At a service at the Cornish air station in front of the Squadrons personnel, families and former members, 829 NAS was formally decommissioned as the white ensign was lowered.
Speaking at the ceremony, Cdr Kay Burbridge Commander of 829 NAS said that with the transfer of helicopters and personnel:
"There is absolutely no loss of capability for the Merlin force."
This is the fourth time the fleet air arm has said goodbye to 829 NAS, so if history is anything to go by we could be seeing another 829 sometime in the future.