Royal Navy helicopter deploys on French warship


The helicopter from 217 Flight (a flight from 815 Naval Air Squadron), headed up by Flight Commander Lieutenant Mike Curd, will join FLF Surcouf at her base in Toulon on Monday for a four-week training period.

In November they will then deploy on Op Atalanta for four months as part of an initiative for the UK and French Armed Forces to work together more closely.

Op Atalanta is part of the EU’s ongoing Naval effort to disrupt and deter piracy in a bid to reduce its impact on international trade, maritime security and on the economic activities and security of countries in the region.

Lt Curd and Pilot Lt Chris Southworth will be part of a team comprising of senior maintenance rating Chief Petty
fficer Matthew ‘Cakey’ Eccles and seven aircraft engineers along with two Royal Marine snipers.

Their training for this deployment included a 15-week French language course earlier this year to prepare 217 for life on board the French vessel.

Lt Curd said:
“To be given the opportunity to learn the language and then spend an entire deployment operating with the French Navy is fantastic and my team is very excited, not only to be contributing to counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean, but to be doing it in such unusual circumstances.”

In further support of operational preparations a delegation from 217 Flight and the Lynx Helicopter Force HQ visited Toulon in July to see the ship and meet her Commanding Officer, Capitaine de Frigate (CF) Hughes Laine.

CF Laine said:
“I am very pleased to welcome 217 Flight to Surcouf and look forward to having the world renowned capability of the Lynx Mk 8 at my disposal for the deployment.”

217 Flight will be away over Christmas and New Year returning to RNAS Yeovilton in March 2013.
thanks to Happyslapper over on milphotos for this.
Genuine question, no wah, their medals aren't court mounted. I'm guessing that's a Navy thing or is it just crap admin?
Its a personal choice in the RN - most tend to swing mount for the first one, or sometimes two, but then court mount. I swapped to court mounting from three because otherwise you just end up sounding like a brass band!
After 3 get the tailor to sort it etc etd. Dunno what it's like in the army but the only time you spend in nos 1's in the mob is when you are in the shit or you have been stitched up.
I have known two skippers though (one who married a royal) who have stood down their QM and demanded a replacement as protocol stated medals on gangway and the QM (And bosuns mate in one case) had more than he, with his jubilee medal and other buckshee one. Cocktail party etc.

Edit: Wore my tropical Nos 1s once in 13 years. Paid a shitload to get my ribbons sown on as well.
Last seen stowed for sea somewhere on the Cov...

edit: I've got more ****ing medals than 5A (and taught him how to inhale slipstream) and I advise Alec lomas on outdoor survival tips as well ;)

Forgot to add: JJH consults me for advise on his "carriage" posture.


Book Reviewer
One of the best Traf dinner speeches I ever heard was given by a French exchange officer. We all sat there with some trepidation wondering what he was going to say but it turned out to quite funny.
Un perroquet paraffine britannique sur une frégate furtive de Marine Nationale! C'est formidable!

Mais, n'ont pas la Marine Britannique des frégates?
The parakeet bit I get, but where does paraffine (kerosene) come into it? :?
I didn't know JJH needed any instruction on his "carriage" whatever that might be. :? I'm sure every eventuality is covered in the official USMC manual (guide book). :p


Book Reviewer
The late Rear Admiral John Templeton-Cotill was boned in the 1940s as a Lt to be liaison officer to a Frog warship in Portsmouth (he was bilingual in French). One evening he led their wardroom on a run ashore. Came back to find his cabin & bunk in disarray. Went back on deck to have a word with the Fr OOD. Response was 'I had a woman on board but she was a lady and yours was the only bunk with sheets'.

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