Helston's naval base has been turned into a "ship" for ten days as personnel do battle in a fictitious war in "Kernovia."

Exercise Kernow Flag, which began on Tuesday, is designed to make sure RNAS Culdrose squadrons are ready for operations onboard the new HMS Queen Elizabeth when it formally comes into operation some time next year, with Helston’s 820 squadron, and in part 849 squadron, together with the new F35 jets, being the only aircraft onboard.

To help get them "carrier ready," the training exercise sees Culdrose personnel lending assistance to the people of "Redruvia," contained within the region of "Praa-Sandovia."

Here, "Camberland" enemy forces have taken over, leaving Redruvia in need of humanitarian support.

With the "aircraft carrier HMS Seahawk" positioned in the "Loe Sea," the call was made for Culdrose personnel and aircrew to deploy.

On Tuesday, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft left Culdrose and landed on the bases's existing replica aircraft carrier flight deck, which for the following ten days will be known as HMS Seahawk.

There will now be 24-hour flying at the base until November 23, as personnel take part in Exercise Kernow Flag.

Multiple Royal Navy aircraft are taking part in the exercise, with the first day seeing Merlin Mk2s, Sea King Mk 7s, Hawk Jets and King Air Avengers taking off from Culdrose to simulate the mass deployment of aircraft onto a carrier-based operation.

They later landed on the flight deck of HMS Seahawk to simulate a mass embarkation of aircraft onto a carrier at sea.

Throughout the exercise, participating units will conduct anti-submarine warfare, anti surface warfare, airborne surveillance, search and rescue, and humanitarian aid missions in day and night conditions.

It will also test deployed logistics and engineering support, as well as give the opportunity to conduct trials.

Commanding officer of RNAS Culdrose, Captain Dan Stembridge, said: “RNAS Culdrose is essential to the delivery of the nation’s carrier strike capability. For us to be able to deliver our part in this, we need to make sure that we have the right skill-sets and mind-sets required for aircraft carrier operations.

"Exercise Kernow Flag is the perfect way to prove that we are ‘carrier ready.’ It is a ten-day exercise, where we will be flying over 600 hours around the clock, in five different aircraft types.

"Our air station will be operating just like we will do onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth. The exercise will test the whole air station from engineering to the supply chain, right up to the front end of flying."