13 Sqn Visit to Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton
On Thursday the 1st June Cadets from 13 (City of Exeter) Squadron set off from Wyvern Barracks for a day at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton.
Firstly, we were taken to 846 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), part of the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF), who operate the former RAF Merlin MK3 helicopters. We were briefed about the Squadron and what they do, then were lucky enough to look around and sit in the cockpit of a Merlin.
Following this we were taken to the infamous underwater escape training unit, otherwise known as “The Dunker. Here we were able to watch crews practice crash simulations in the large pool. They did this in both light, in the pitch black…and upside down!
We then visited 727 NAS, home to the RN’s Grob Tutors. We learnt how the pilots are trained to fly in the Fleet Air Arm and had an opportunity to look around and sit in the Tutor.
After this we walked across to the Air traffic Control (ATC) building where we split into two groups and visited the radar room and the Tower. We were taken up to the visual control room and shown how it was operated and were lucky enough to see several Merlins and Wildcats take off, as well as a Tutor doing circuits. Back down the many stairs in the radar room, we were shown how the equipment is used and could over hear some talk between ATC and several flights.
The final section we were shown was 847 NAS, home to the Royal Marines’ new Wildcat helicopter which has just replaced the RN and Army’s trusty Lynx. We were given a brief about the aircraft and what they do for the Fleet Air Arm. We were then shown around the aircraft and had the opportunity to sit in the cockpit.
Sadly our visit came to an end, but we had all had a great day and learned a lot about the Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Navy as a whole. The visit was a big eye-opener to a lot of the Cadets about the Fleet Air Arm and the opportunities they could get from joining the Royal Navy.
Thanks to all the staff at RNAS Yeovilton for taking the time out of their busy jobs to show us around the station and an insight to what they do and 13 (City of Exeter) Squadron staff for organising this awesome day out.