Lusty chief ‘impressed’ after exercises

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THE Royal Navy’s helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious has been fending off a succession of simulated air attacks in its last major exercise in the Gulf.

The Portsmouth-based warship was faced with a succession of attacks from Omani jets during the practice session for the UK’s amphibious task group east of Suez.

An Army Lynx helicopter flies high above HMS Illustrious

An Army Lynx helicopter flies high above HMS Illustrious

Captain Mike Utley, Illustrious’s commanding officer, said that he had been ‘tremendously impressed’ by the eight-day workout.

He said: ‘Our hosts planned a very well thought-out exercise to meet specific objectives, which they executed in a very professional manner indeed.

‘It has been a genuine pleasure to meet so many of our Omani colleagues and strengthen our bonds with one of our closest allies.’

HMS Illustrious is on deployment as part of the Response Force Task Group.