Monday, 6 April 2020

Military virus response helicopters practice at Tyneside naval reserve base.

Photo Royal Navy / Crown Copyright

Tynesiders were treated to the rare sight of Wildcat action on their doorstep when Army pilots dropped in on Naval Reserve base HMS Calliope.

Crews from the Army Air Corps 1 Regiment, No 659 Squadron made use of the landing site at the Gateshead establishment as they practised for their coronavirus mission.

As part of the military support to the NHS and civilian authorities – Operation Rescript – three Army battlefield Wildcats have been dispatched from their base at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset to RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire.

Their missions working for the COVID-19 Support Force are likely to involve them flying over towns and cities (Calliope is just 56 miles from Leeming, barely 20 minutes’ flying time) as they deliver supplies, ferry medics around or carry people who are sick, rather than the rolling terrain of a battlefield they are more normally used to.

Photo Royal Navy / Crown Copyright

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