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Navy flyers prepare for next Afghanistan posting

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 07, 2012

  • 847 Naval Air Squadron in training in the Californian mountains, where conditions are similar to those experienced in Afghanistan

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Helicopter crews from a Westcountry Naval base are putting the finishing touches to training ahead of their third deployment to Afghanistan in four years.

The men of 847 Naval Air Squadron, under the command of Lt Col Nick Venn, are preparing for their mission at the US Naval Air Facility El Centro in California before heading to Helmand in January. The unit is undergoing desert training and is using upgraded Lynx Mk 9A aircraft which feature more powerful engines to give better performance in extreme conditions. Lt Col Venn said they were ready to deploy.

"The training in El Centro is an essential component of our pre-deployment training as it allows both the aircrew and engineers to operate the Lynx in a hot and mountainous desert environment that is very comparable to that of Afghanistan.

"When we eventually deploy to Helmand we will provide high-readiness support to UK and coalition forces, predominantly in the over-watch and reconnaissance roles."

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