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31 August 2016
On Wednesday 31 August, pilots and engineers from 15 Sqn Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) rendezvoused with HMS Portland to hone their flying skills.

The purpose of the visit was to provide an opportunity for the pilots to get some deck landing practice as well as gain some exposure to Royal Navy operating procedures.

They arrived in a Super Lynx – a modernised version of the Ship’s venerable Lynx Mk 8 – in perfect flying conditions and flat calm seas.

This allowed the pilots to conduct the numerous deck landings, whilst their engineers witnessed procedures from a fully worked-up flight deck team.

On completion, the aircrew regrouped in the Wardroom along with the Ship’s Principal Warfare Officer to discuss tactical employment of aircraft at sea.

The engineers remained in the hangar to see how the Royal Navy managed to maintain an aircraft at sea during long deployments.

It was great to meet the RAFO team, they were incredibly professional and seemed interested to learn from any differences between our procedures.

Lieutenant Laura Cambrook

Nick Sneesby, Maritime Aircraft Engineer RAFO said: “We all really appreciated the visit and felt it was extremely worthwhile.  It certainly was for me personally as the engineers answered all my various questions.  

"It is always good to visit an RN ship, especially a Type 23 which I am very familiar with having been in HMS Westminster many years ago.  

"It was also good to show the Omanis that our procedures are very similar.  These visits are so valuable particularly as it gives a chance for the Omanis to see how a UK Ship operates.”

Both meetings proved extremely useful, and served to highlight the commonality in operating procedures between the two nations; largely due to the strong influence of RN exchange officers within Omani training organisations.

With discussions over, there was just time for some aircrew top trumps (air conditioning and glass cockpit in the Super Lynx verses a deck lock and folding tail in the Mk 8) and a group photograph before the Omanis returned to al Musanna.

Portland’s Flight Commander, Lieutenant Laura Cambrook (30) from Gibraltar, said: “It was great to meet the RAFO team, they were incredibly professional and seemed interested to learn from any differences between our procedures.

"I am incredibly proud of what I do and it is always a pleasure talking to others about it”.

 

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