Navy air squadron repairs damaged Afghan aircraft

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A PORTSMOUTH-based naval air squadron is fixing damaged helicopters in Afghanistan.

Helicopters suffering from wear and tear caused by the harsh conditions, damage from landing on rough ground or hulls pierced by gunfire are being mended by the 1710 Navy Air Squadron.

At the weekend a Chinook was damaged in three places after coming under fire.

Petty Officers Simon Whittell and Stephen Ricketts are now working to get it back in action within two weeks.

The team is also working on a Merlin with a part which has worn out from constantly sucking in the dust and dirt of Afghanistan. Most of the aircraft the Portsmouth squadron deal with can still be flown and are transported to Camp Bastion for repair.

But sometimes the team of five must travel beyond the camp to perform the repairs while being protect by soldiers providing a ring of steel.