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10-12-2009, 11:32 AM
Lynx squadron recognised for efficiency in Afghanistan
A History and Honour news article

12 Oct 09

Royal Navy and Royal Marine Lynx helicopter crews from 847 Naval Air Squadron were recently honoured for maintaining the highest level of operational efficiency in Afghanistan.

During a parade at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, friends and family of personnel from 847 Naval Air Squadron watched as they received their standard Afghanistan operational medals.

The personnel were also presented with the prestigious Australia Shield which is given to the naval air squadron that maintains the highest level of operational efficiency.

Over nine months of this year the squadron deployed and sustained a half-squadron detachment, including a four-week period when virtually the entire unit was deployed in one or other overseas location.

The squadron's ambitious but carefully managed programme has enabled it to be the only Lynx unit to meet its UK-based Annual Flying Task while at the same time delivering over 250 hours per month in support of operations in Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan the squadron also demonstrated that the skillful use of the Lynx helicopter with its agility and small size is in certain scenarios preferable to the employment of other helicopters in the casualty evacuation role. The detachment had been used for the task of recovering the bodies of troops killed in action.

Its aircraft engineers have maintained a remarkable level of serviceability during its deployment to Afghanistan and the Far East and the net result is a squadron that is both supremely competent at current operations, but also ready for the full gamut of contingent tasks.
Wherever it has been, 847 Naval Air Squadron has delivered the optimal effect to the formations it has supported, while at the same time maintained the very highest standards, and has been widely recognised as a first-rate ambassador for the Fleet Air Arm.

The Commanding Officer (CO) of 847 Naval Air Squadron, Lieutenant Colonel Jaimie Roylance, Royal Marines, said:

"To be awarded this accolade at a time when so many other squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm are busy around the world is a serious compliment.

"It is fitting that the award specifically recognises the collective efforts and achievements of the entire squadron. I am grateful to the many family and friends of the squadron for the role that they played in supporting their loved ones and enabling them to achieve so much in so many places around the world, not least in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The challenge of maintaining such a high level of operational tempo in extremely harsh environments for such a prolonged period of time should not be in any way underestimated. As the CO, I would like to pay personal tribute to everyone for their perseverance, drive and determination over the last two years."

The Australia Shield was presented to Petty Officer Paul Holmes by Rear Admiral Fleet Air Arm Simon Charlier.

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