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Milestone in the North Sea for Naval Aviator

Milestone in the North Sea for Naval Aviator
A Royal Naval Aviator from Yeovil has recently reached a milestone in his career, hitting his 1000th flying hour whilst on operations.

Lieutenant Thomas ‘Tug’ Wilson, who is the Flight Commander of 203 Flight embarked in HMS Montrose, hit the magical number whilst conducting a flying sortie in the North Sea.

On landing back on the flight-deck of HMS Montrose from the routine sortie, he was greeted and congratulated by fellow work colleagues, and also by the Ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Conor O’Neill.

On congratulating Lt Wilson, Commander O’Neill commented, “This is a proud moment for any aviator, and we are delighted to share it with him. 203 Flight and their Wildcat have been fundamental to HMS Montrose’s recent operations, and we are very glad to have them as part of the team.”

Lt Wilson, who has conducted numerous flying operations, not only during his short time embarked onboard HMS Montrose, but also during his 8 and half year flying career in the Royal Navy.

He said, “Achieving my 1000th flying hour whilst conducting operations is something I will remember throughout my career in the Royal Navy.”

Achieving my 1000th flying hour whilst conducting operations is something I will remember throughout my career in the Royal Navy

Lieutenant Thomas ‘Tug’ Wilson, Flight Commander of 203 Flight embarked in HMS Montrose

203 Flight, who form part of the busy frontline unit of 815 Naval Air Squadron, based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset, embarked in the Type 23 Frigate from Plymouth a fortnight ago, when the Ship was activated at very short notice to shadow two Russian Steregushchiy Class Corvettes that had left their base port in the Baltic Sea and were approaching UK waters. 

During their time onboard, the 10 strong team under the command of Lt Wilson, have conducted a number of various training evolutions and operational sorties, to ensure not only that they remain an effective professional team on call at a moments notice, but also to provide the ship with the operational capability required from the latest state of the art maritime helicopter.

The Commanding Officer of 815 NAS, Commander Jaimeson Stride also commented on Lt Wilson’s milestone in his career.

“Reaching 1000 hours is a key milestone in any aviator’s career and it is pertinent that Lt Wilson is reaching this while embarked in HMS Montrose since this is the natural environment for any member of 815 NAS.

"Lt Wilson is a dedicated and professional Observer who has now been operating Wildcat for a little over a year and has been Flight Commander of 203 Flight for 6 months. Reaching 1000 hours sets him up well for his forthcoming deployment in HMS Montrose.”

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