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Patrol boats exercise with Wildcats

HMS Exploit and Ranger with cruise ships Queen Victoria and Marella Explorer 2
18 March 2021
Two of the Royal Navy’s Coastal Forces Squadron patrol boats conducted training with a pair of Commando Wildcat helicopters.

The action-packed day saw HMS Ranger and Exploit carry out transfers, wet winching and heli-casting with the aircraft from 847 Naval Air Squadron in Weymouth Bay.

The two P2000 provided the aircraft with a challenging platform to enable essential training for the aircrew who are continually held at readiness to deploy. 

And cruise liners laid up by the pandemic – including Cunard’s mighty Queen Victoria (90,000 tonnes) and Tui’s Marella Explorer 2 (a ‘mere’ 72,000 tonnes) – provided an impressive, if unusual backdrop to the training.

These exercises mark the beginning of the P2000 deployment period.

From winching with Wildcats, providing Force Protection to HMS Queen Elizabeth, and providing training support FOST (North and South), Phase 1 trainees, Warfare Navigation training, the P2000s of  Costal Forces Squadron have also supported 'virtual' training events  to not only the URNU but a vast array of youth groups during the pandemic.

The 12 P2000 and 2 LPV Class Patrol Boats of CFS are dispersed throughout nine ports across the UK, providing maritime security in collaboration with the Joint Maritime Security Centre.

The squadron is now preparing to support task group training as part of multi-national exercises Strike Warrior and BALTOPS.

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