Showing posts with label British Army. Show all posts
Showing posts with label British Army. Show all posts

27 May, 2022

UK Armed Forces aircraft take part in final rehearsal before Queen's Platinum Jubilee Flypast

UK Armed Forces aircraft take part in final rehearsal before Queen's Platinum Jubilee Flypast
Photo RAF / Crown copyright

An amazing airborne spectacle occurred yesterday, 26 May as aircraft from across the UK Armed Forces soared over RAF College Cranwell in a rehearsal for the Platinum Jubilee Flypast over Buckingham Palace on Thursday 2 June 2022.

The Royal Air Force, British Army and Royal Navy were all represented in the 22 aircraft that took to the skies to practice the formations which will form part of the Queen’s Birthday Parade celebrations next week.  The full flypast will see 70 aircraft, including the iconic Red Arrows and historic Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, put on a spectacular show over London.

The formation flew over RAF Cranwell’s iconic College Hall yesterday, which stood in for Buckingham Palace.  The first aircraft of the Flypast flew over College Hall at 13:00BST.  The display was reviewed by Air Commodore Mike Baulkwill, the Combat Air Force Commander for the RAF’s No 1 Group.  Air Commodore Baulkwill was standing in for Air Vice-Marshal Ian Duguid, Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group, who is the Senior Responsible Officer for the Flypast.

Dedication, concentration and supreme skills needed to fly  in the flypast Photo RAF / Crown copyright

Commodore Mike Baulkwill, Combat Air Force Commander, No 1 Group said: "I was reviewing the Flypast from a safety and execution point of view, to make sure the timings, spacings, and the broad structure of the flypast was looking good for next week. It went really well, we’ll have to make some minor adjustments, but the timing was perfect, and the line-up was good."

"We are very proud to be able to show Her Majesty The Queen, our Commander-in-Chief, on this unique occasion for the longest-serving monarch and her 70 year Platinum Jubilee, our capability and present that as a fitting and appropriate tribute for her 70-year reign. It should be a good spectacle for the country, the union, and the Commonwealth."

Squadron Leader Greenhowe
Project Officer for the Flypast

The variety of aircraft that will take part in the flypast will highlight the armed forces' different roles and abilities.   Photo RAF / Crown copyright
Squadron Leader Longland, RAF Puma Pilot said: "The flypast today went really well. We made our time on target over the top of College Hall which was standing in as Buckingham Palace. It has been in preparation for months and requires detailed coordination between all the different aircraft which fly at different speeds. I feel hugely privileged and excited to get to fly over the Palace for The Queen on this momentous occasion."

The flypast on Thursday 2 June 2022 will follow the Queen’s Birthday Parade, known as Trooping The Colour, a major display of military pageantry involving 1,500 officers and soldiers and 250 horses from the British Army’s Household Division on Horse Guards Parade.  The Flypast will take place subject to weather, serviceability, and operational commitments.


Photo RAF / Crown copyright

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Photo RAF / Crown copyright

09 June, 2021

Apache warriors add striking power to HMS Prince of Wales

Photo Royal Navy/Crown copyright

Heavy metal thunder is forecast for the next few weeks around the UK as Apache gunships get their sea legs for their first time on HMS Prince of Wales.  The Army Air Corps’ ‘flying tank’ is conducting extensive trials with the Portsmouth-based carrier as the two services learn how to integrate the fearsome helicopter with the nation’s new flagships.

The Apache has been in service for nearly two decades and has operated sporadically at sea, notably on HMS Ocean from where they conducted strikes against military targets in Libya during that country’s civil war a decade ago.

It’s spent some time conducting trials on Queen Elizabeth, but the spell on her sister – which the three gunships joined in harbour last week – is more concerted.

The trio hail from the Army Air Corps’ dedicated maritime unit 656 Squadron, 4 Regiment AAC, and are supported by 100 personnel from Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk.

Photo Royal Navy/Crown copyright
The training with Prince of Wales will include qualifying new pilots in the art of deck landings and take offs, but also ensure that ground crew from both the Army Air Corps and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers can perform their aircraft handling and maintenance roles at sea.

Aside from the operational focus, the soldiers will rapidly learn the labyrinth of passageways in the massive aircraft carrier as well as naval slang or ‘Jackspeak’ and the nuances of daily life at sea with the Royal Navy. 

07 December, 2020

RAF deploy new British Army UN Force deployment to Mali

RAF deploy new British Army UN Force deployment to Mali

Image shows military personnel boarding an RAF A400M aircraft from the rear.
The new British Army mission is to provide the ongoing UN mission in Mali with a new long range reconnaissance capability that will enhance the UN peace keeping mission.

RAF aircraft are deploying British Army personnel from RAF Brize Norton to join the UN Mission in Mali.

The advanced party led by Lieutenant Colonel Tom Robinson, the Commanding Officer of the Light Dragoons, flew out to Mali on board a LXX Squadron A400M Atlas transport aircraft last week.  The main contingent followed on 3rd December on board another Atlas, which after a refuelling stop at Gibraltar flew into Gao Mali.  The full deployment is planned to be completed by early next week.

Image shows RAF A400M aircraft at RAF Gibraltar.
After a refuelling stop at Gibraltar, the RAF A400M Atlas transport aircraft flew into Gao Mali.

06 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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23 July, 2019

Former Army Pilot and Astronaut Maj Tim Peake takes flight with the Red Arrows

Former Army Air Corps Apache Pilot and British astronaut Major Tim Peake has spoken about how aerospace can help inspire future generations after flying with the Red Arrows.  He joined the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team for a scheduled, practice flight which involved a 20-minute display.  The astronaut flew in the rear seat of Red 1’s aircraft, getting to feel, first-hand, the team’s hallmark combination of close-formations, precision passes and dynamic loops and rolls.

16 April, 2019

UK Apaches take off for Estonia

Gavin Williamson is shown the controls of an Apache Photo MoD
The UK's Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson bid farewell to British Army aviators as they took off for Estonia, where they will be training alongside NATO forces working to reassure the allies and deter Russian forces.

3 Regiment Army Air Corps is deploying to the Baltics for three months, with Apache attack helicopters of 663 Squadron taking off from their base at Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk today.

The Apaches will be working in tandem with the Army’s Wildcat battlefield reconnaissance helicopters to provide valuable training opportunities to NATO allies on Estonia’s annual Exercise Spring Storm and to the UK-led battlegroup deployed on NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).

The creation of the ePF was a direct result of the Warsaw Summit of 2016 amid, concerns about Russian aggression following its annexation of Crimea in 2014.  The eFP is an enhanced deployment of defensive, combat-capable forces in countries which include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. In the region, there are forces from Germany, the US and Canada side by side with the UK aiming to deter any future Russian aggression.

Before the Apaches departed from Wattisham, the Defence Secretary spoke with the soldiers who fly and maintain the aircraft to understand more about its capabilities and their mission.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "The first deployment of Apache helicopters to Estonia underlines our position at the forefront of NATO. This is a world class machine operated by world class Army aviators and this deployment demonstrates our unwavering commitment to NATO’s collective defence."