News Release from RAF Benson
Three Chinook helicopters from 28 (Army Cooperation) Squadron, RAF Benson will be operating from RAF Valley over the period of 24 July to 4 Aug 2023 to conduct essential training for crews during Exercise KUKRI DAWN.
The exercise is the conclusion to the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) training conducted by 28 (AC) Squadron, ensuring that crews are tested in challenging and unfamiliar environments prior to deployment onto front line squadrons. The aircraft will primarily be operating in the areas surrounding RAF Valley, but will also transit Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Yorkshire and Middlesbrough in their activities.
The course training provides key skills for pilots and crew members to operate the Chinook helicopter on operations within the UK and overseas. Skills include formation flying, low level training, simulated casualty evacuation and liaison training with the Mountain Rescue Teams. The operational phase of the course is the culmination of months of training by the students and, all being well, will see them return to RAF Benson ready to graduate.
They will be flying during RAF Valley’s normal operating hours of 0900 to 1700hrs, with no night flying expected. At times, the Chinook helicopters may be operating in pairs at low level and may also train in urban environments, both of which are key skills for the crews. Every effort will be made to reduce any noise footprint. Those riding horses can help to be seen by aircrews by wearing hi visibility clothing.
RAF Valley provides an excellent forward operating base for the OCU, with additional support to the training being undertaken by introducing the crews to operating in unfamiliar surroundings and a different environment.