Sea King ASACs in the Middle East

#1
Although you won't hear about it in the news, Sea King ASACs are commited to current operations in a surface search role, currently based aboard RFA Argus. See here.

The skipper has a blog too - here.

So what have we been up to? Actually, whilst MSO can be tedious, in reality things have been far from boring. The aircraft observers are beavering away at radars and surveillance systems and barely notice the passage of time. The pilots are occupied traversing great expanses of water under direction of the ‘back seat’ observers (who likes back seat drivers?!) searching for that needle in the haystack. Track information is shared through secure voice circuits and information highways with mother (RFA ARGUS) and the other surface units (warships) in order to develop what is known in the trade as the Recognised Maritime Picture (RMP). This work with coalition partners in combined operations brings maximum effect in our deterrence role of denying the sea to those ill-disposed to trafficking arms, drugs and people, as well as piracy.
So yes, we have been very successful, and just as importantly, we have been building confidence of coastal states in our shared quest in stopping this illicit trade. You will understand for operational reasons we do not discuss the finer details.


See also Fleet Deployments.

Funny how you never hear any of this in the news. Note also the 820 Merlins based in Oman (another ISTAR type job) and the number of ships deployed....
 
#2
This sounds like the standard Fleet briefing guide to try to persuade people that they're involved in combat Ops. The Merlin and SK ASAC jobs are deployments separate from Telic.

It's ignoring it's current committed forces to these areas a they're not grey and therefore not Naval enough.

The view from the squadrons is that Fleet seems to spend more money on PR than it does on Ops.

Do I feel bitter? Pretty much.
 
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