Personnel from Commando Helicopter Force teamed up with 45 Commando at RM Condor in Arbroath for Exercise Flying Scotsman.
According to the Royal Navy:
“The Junglies took the Green Berets from the east coast to the south Hebridean Isle of Islay – more than 150 miles as the Merlin flies.
The changeable Scottish weather ensured some challenging conditions for the crew from 845 Naval Air Squadron.”
Pilot Lieutenant Alan Doughty said:
“This has been some of the most challenging flying I have done so far, the assault on the Isle of Islay was especially rewarding in a very unfamiliar environment.”
The squadron left their home at RNAS Yeovilton with two Merlin Mk3A aircraft to take part in Exercise Flying Scotsman.
The aircraft delivered 56 members of X-Ray Company and Recce Troop to Islay in the early hours of the morning as part of a helicopter assault force.
The Royal Navy say that the flight provided some essential training for the aircrew operating at night as part of a formation. Changeable meteorological conditions in the Scottish Highlands meant that the flying was especially difficult.
“With the Cairngorms on the doorstep of Arbroath, the opportunity to carry out some mountain flying was not wasted and a number of aircrew were refreshed in this particularly difficult skill, away from the usual playground of Snowdonia in Wales.
The spectacular scenery – enhanced by the flowering heather – not only afforded 845 NAS an opportunity to carry out some professional training but also allowed the detachment to indulge in some white water rafting on the River Tay.”
Leading Air Engineering Technician Dan Jayne said, “This has been one of the most enjoyable exercises I have been on, not only have we successfully engineered two cabs in support of 45 Cdo from a remote location but even managed to squeeze in some white water wafting adventure training.”