Personnel and Sqns from CHF have been the proud recipients of two significant honours in the past months.
July saw the presentation of the Australia Shield to 847 NAS. This prestigious event, attended by a number of personnel from RNAS Yeovilton and further afield. RAdm Cunningham CBE, RAdm Fleet Air Arm (FAA), was the presenting officer.
The Australia Shield is awarded annually to the most Operationally Capable squadron in the FAA. During the period 2011-2012, 847 NAS deployed on Op HERRICK in Afghanistan, Op ELLAMY off the coast of Libya, and supported numerous exercises, both in the UK and Norway. During early 2012, one third of the squadron engineering manpower was loaned to the Wildcat Fielding Team (Army), in order to enable flying operations to begin at RNAS Yeovilton on this new and exciting aircraft.
The sqn paraded inside the 847 NAS hangar for the presentation ceremony, where both the squadron CO, Lt Col Nicholas Venn RM and RAdm Cunningham were keen to stress the significance of the award, especially during what had been a very busy year for all units of the FAA. A number of additional awards were also presented to squadron personnel. These included a Flight Safety Good Show award to Naval Airman Jeremy Card, and a Certificate of Competence to Lt Mike Wells, marking a key milestone in the development of a Naval pilot’s career and a LS&GCM to CPO Peter Rogers.
The culmination of the ceremony was the presentation of the Australia Shield which was received by CPO Steven Bell on behalf of the squadron, and the pride was evident in the faces of the personnel on parade. In his closing address, RAdm Cunningham read a message of goodwill from HM The Queen to those in the Naval Service, taking the opportunity to convey her order to “Splice the Mainbrace”. This is Naval tradition allows those ordered to partake in a tot of rum paid for by the monarch.
In the last issue of LZDZ it was reported that 845 NAS had been awarded the prestigious Breitling Trophy after achieving the best overall assessment during a Naval Flying Standards inspection in recognition of professionalism and excellence in Naval Aviation. The trophy was finally presented to Lt Cdr Ed Adams, the Sqn Trg O, on behalf of the squadron by RAdm Cunningham CBE, RAdm FAA at a ceremony in September. The ceremony was also an opportunity for individuals to be recognised for their efforts. Seven sailors and one Royal Marine received their LS&GCMs; four received their OSMs for Afghanistan; six aircrew received their Aircrew Certificate of Competency; an Aircraft Engineer was presented with a citation for his part in leading a team of engineers in the recovery of an aircraft that had been hit by a RPG and Capt Barnwell RM was presented with the ACSM.