SIX Royal Navy helicopter observers have completed their basic flying training at RNAS Culdrose.

Their course has taken them from the classroom into the helicopter simulators and then into the air as they have learnt navigation, search and rescue, mission planning and command.

They will now go on to learn their specific aircraft type.

Two of the observers will join the Wildcat Force and RNAS Yeovilton, while the other four will remain at Culdrose to learn how to operate the Merlin Mk2 helicopters with the 824 Naval Air Squadron, three for anti-submarine warfare and one for airborne surveillance and control.

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824 Naval Air Squadron is a highly skilled and professional unit, and its personnel are some of the best in the world. The squadron is proud of its history and its contribution to the Royal Navy, and it is committed to continuing to provide the best possible training to its aircrew.

The squadron has a long and distinguished history, dating back to the First World War. It has seen action in every major conflict since then, including the Second World War, the Falklands War, the Gulf War, and the War in Afghanistan.

Presenting them with their certificates, Commander Chris Jones, the commanding officer of 824 Naval Air Squadron said: “Graduating from here is no mean feat.

“This course has a fearsome reputation because it really separates those who are capable from those who are not.”