Royal Navy air squadron is flying high

Members of the 1710 Naval Air Squadron
Members of the 1710 Naval Air Squadron
The Russian destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov as seen from HMS Somerset in the Moray Firth

Royal Navy ship shadows a Russian destroyer

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IT IS the Royal Navy’s rapid-response helicopter breakdown service, and now the Portsmouth-based 1710 Naval Air Squadron has won anaward.

It has been awarded the Naval Capability Trophy 2014 for its role keeping servicemen and women safe in the air.

During 2014 the unit’s repair team carried out 116 repairs on 17 different types of aircraft in places including the Arctic, Falkland Islands and Afghanistan.

Presenting the award to the squadron – which comprises 178 military and civilian personnel – Rear-Admiral James Morse, assistant chief of naval staff (capability), said it should be proud of the impact it has on the capability of the naval service.

‘The squadron provides unique specialist support to the fleet and this year the unit has surpassed its output requirements in every area, proving pivotal to both capability generation and improvement,’ he said.

The squadron’s modifications team delivered three urgent adjustments for the Merlin Mk 2 helicopter in support of live operations during 2014. It also made more than 20 capability enhancements to a variety of Royal Navy and other aircraft.

Lieutenant Sandeep Longia, the squadron’s last repair officer to deploy to Afghanistan, said: ‘It is an honour to receive this prestigious award.

‘Among other things, it recognises the enduring eight-year presence of a repair team on Operation Herrick as well as the continued support to tri-service aircraft in the UK and overseas in both operational and non-operational environments.’