CHF in the Caribbean

HMS Ocean was at the forefront of the UK’s humanitarian relief effort after hurricanes struck the Caribbean in September. Thomas Newdick caught up with the Commando Helicopter Force that provides the backbone of its aircraft component.


HMS ‘Ocean’ heads into the ‘Atlantic hurricane conveyor belt’ at top speed as she prepares to deliver aid to British citizens in the Caribbean. On deck are the two No 18 Squadron Chinooks and a CHF Merlin, while a Merlin HM2 from 820 NAS conducts flying operations off the stern.
All photos MOD Crown Copyright

IT’S BEEN a busy 12 months for Col Lenny Brown and the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) that is under his control. The Royal Navy’s aerial assault specialists have been transitioning to new equipment and, in Col Brown’s words, to a new mindset: “We have been involved in land-centric campaigns for over ten years. Now we are switching back to a much more maritime-facing organisation. It’s in our DNA,” he reflected.

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