Royal Navy sailors have been sharing their world-class skills with the UK’s allies in the Middle East, teaching them how to manage busy flight decks at sea.
Aircraft handlers from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, at Helston, Cornwall, have just returned from Oman on the tip of the Arabian peninsula.
They tested sailors from the Royal Navy of Oman to the same high standard of professionalism and safety taught at Culdrose.
Over two weeks, students were shown how to supervise a flight deck and deal with emergencies with their Super Lynx helicopters.
The students faced classroom work at Sultan Bin Said Naval Base in Wudam and then had hands-on experience onboard one of the Oman navy’s patrol vessels, RNOV Khassab.
Chief Petty Officer Paul Bryant, of Culdrose’s 1700 Naval Air Squadron, said the Omanis were eager students – and quick to pick up the skills taught by his team.
He said: “This course was last delivered more than a year ago so it was very much in demand to maintain the operational capability of Oman’s 14 ships with flight decks.
“Five students were initially loaded onto the course with a further two requiring upgrading that were added during the sea-training phase.
“Of these, six students achieved the pass grade required for an unsupervised flight deck officer role.”
Also running the course from Culdrose were Petty Officer Dave Carter and Leading Airman Paul Girvin.
They are all part of 1700 Naval Air Squadron, which deploys expert teams of sailors to allow flying operations on British warships and support ships. As well as aircraft handlers and flight deck officers, the squadron also has a wide range of specialists including chefs, stewards, weapon engineers, logistical personnel and medics.