Merlin helicopters from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose will spend the next week searching for submarines in NATO’s largest Mediterranean Anti-Submarine Exercise, Dynamic Manta 2018.
During the exercise, the helicopters will protect and attack the NATO submarines, and work with the helicopters, maritime patrol aircraft and ships of ten other nations say the Royal Navy.
“It is important for aircrews from various NATO nations’ to come and train together in this truly challenging environment,” explained Greece’s Commodore Andreas Vettos, who is overseeing the aerial element of the exercise.
“I’m convinced that the benefit for all participating nations will be immense and will assist in preparing our aircrews for future tasks and operations.”
Detachment Commander, Lieutenant Commander Richard ‘Whisky’ Walker said:
“After a long transit from RNAS Culdrose, our Merlin helicopters have arrived in Catalina and are ready to take part in Exercise Dynamic Manta 2018. Our main role is to hunt for the six NATO submarines during our time here, working alongside other aircraft to find them.
Whilst we are here in Sicily, it will be an intensive flying programme for us. Our submarine hunt will start immediately. Engineers are now busy in the hangar fitting all of the role equipment that enables us to hunt for submarines, including dipping sonar, an infra-red camera and various other kit. Then we will hand over to further crews to continue to mission.”