848 NAS Awarded the Bambara Flight Safety Shield

848 Naval Air Squadron, based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, has been awarded the prestigious Fleet Air Arm Bambara Flight Safety Shield. The award is presented annually to the unit that promotes and endorses flight safety in Naval aviation.

The shield was presented by Capt Nial Griffin, Commanding Officer of the Commando Helicopter Force. Lt Cdr Paul Barker accepted the award on behalf of 848 NAS with Lt Cdr Kevan Smith, Sgt Nick Batchelar, CSgt  Paul Collacott and CPOACMN Andy Vanes.

In the citation for the award, ACNS (A&C) Rear Admiral Russ Harding said: “Faced with significant challenge throughout 2013, the Squadron maintained a comprehensive and well managed Flight Safety organisation with a very open and Just Culture.”

The citation went on: “Noteworthy was the requirement to deliver personnel into Merlin Mk3 conversion training against a tight timeline for disbandment and infrastructure handover while maintaining high standards across the CHF Sea King training pipeline and Maritime Counter Terrorism commitment.

These and other challenges were met head on with robust leadership, committed personnel and a strong Flight Safety ethos…. The squadron is commended for its approach to Flight Safety throughout this extremely turbulent period.”

848 Naval Air Squadron was first established in 1943 equipped with Avenger aircraft, but was disbanded after the war. 848 NAS has been disbanded and reformed on a number of occasions, notably seeing service in Kuwait in 1961, the Falkland Islands in 1982 and during the Gulf War in 1991. The Squadron was re-commissioned in 1995 to undertake an operational training and Royal Marine support role as part of the Commando Helicopter Force. 848 NAS was again disbanded in December 2013.

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