A Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft has been conducting exercises with HMS Mersey, a Royal Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel
The aircraft met up with HMS Mersey off the coast of Estonia after transiting from its home base of RAF Lossiemouth. The vessel is in the area conducting a presence and patrol mission whilst integrating with Joint Expeditionary Force nations. The principal reason for this is to strengthen the ties with these nations in the face of the ongoing Russian aggression in the area. The chance to work with UK forces in that area of operations is also beneficial to all involved.
Wg Cdr Ben Livesey, the Officer Commanding of CXX Sqn and who flew on the sortie said: “This was an excellent example of what the Poseidon can do… reassuring our Allies and cooperating closely with our Royal Navy colleagues at range.
“The ability to project our RAF Maritime Patrol capability into different areas like this allows us to better understand the battlespace, both above and below the waves, and this ability continues to grow as Poseidon builds towards Full Operational Capability. Despite the poor weather, we were able to achieve our mission objectives whilst conducting valuable training, which prepares us better for future challenges, whatever those may be.”
The captain of HMS Mersey, Lieutenant Commander James ‘Mitch’ Mitchell said: “The capabilities that Poseidon brings is impressive, especially on a foggy day like today when we struggle to identify shipping contacts. Operating together we were able to generate a recognised maritime picture of activity across the Baltic Sea region and is another demonstration of our abilities to integrate and operate alongside partners and allies either under the JEF framework or as part of the NATO alliance.”