Watch as Lebanese Puma crew take on 'The Dunker'

Watch: Lebanese Puma crew take on The Dunker.

Military personnel must prepare for all possibilities – including escaping from a helicopter completely submerged underwater.

On the rare occasion a helicopter pilot has to perform a controlled landing on water, all those in the aircraft must be able to escape properly.

At RNAS Yeovilton, the Underwater Escape Training Unit, also known as 'The Dunker', allows personnel to practice getting out of an aircraft quickly, safely and efficiently.

Pilots and helicopter crew from the Lebanese Air Force took on The Dunker in a module designed to recreate the cabin of a Puma helicopter.

Major Hasan Safa, the Deputy Commander of 9 Squadron, flies Pumas in the Lebanese Air Force and told Forces News they carry out "a lot of exercises, a lot of missions offshore and over water".

Watch: Meet the Dunker - The military's underwater escape training facility

"Being Dunker qualified is really essential for us," he said. "I'm very excited, I've never done it before."

After escaping the replica Puma cabin, the crew then saw the module completely submerged and rotated – relying on a Short Term Air Supply System (STASS) for additional breathing time underwater.

After a series of tests in the light, they were then plunged into darkness before being lowered into the pool.

This is to ensure the crew are comfortable and capable of escaping theie aircraft in any situation.

Watch: Puma helicopters replace Griffins in Cyprus.

The Lebanese Air Force's 9 Squadron enjoys a relationship with the RAF's 33 Squadron, which flies Puma aircraft and is based at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.

Maj Safa said the relationship between the two squadrons has seen mutual exercises carried out, including air assault operations and troop movement missions.

He added that 33 Squadron will now have a contingent closer to Lebanon – in Cyprus.

"What we are looking forward to is… mutual exercises to be conducted with that part of 33 Squadron, considering the short distances that [are] between Cyprus and Lebanon," he said.

"No specific expectations, but we do have very big hopes and expectations for the future of the operation between these two squadrons – especially when it comes to search and rescue operations."

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