815 Naval Air Squadron
815 Naval Air Squadron (815 NAS) is a Fleet Air Arm squadron that operates the Wildcat HMA 2 helicopter out of RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset.
The squadron is made up of an HQ element and 16 Small Ship's Flights, the bulk of which deploy on Type 23 Frigates and Type 45 Destroyers. Each flight is made up of a single helicopter, 2 aircrew (pilot + observer) and a supporting element of 7 engineer technicians.
Note: the squadron previously flew the Lynx Mk.8 helicopters before converting to the Wildcat.
815 NAS includes a specialised sub-unit that is made up of 2 double-manned flights and is designated as the Maritime Interdiction (MI) Flight (previously known as B Section). The MI flight provides specialist support to Maritime Interdiction operations, including Counter Narcotics, Counter Piracy and Maritime Counter Terrorism (MCT).
Along with a flight of Merlins from the Commando Helicopter Force, also based at RNAS Yeovilton, 815 NAS MI Flight is on a very high readiness footing to support United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) MCT operations. This role would typically entail providing top cover and/or troop insertion/extraction for the Special Boat Service as they take a MCT objective such as a cargo ship, ferry, oil rig etc.
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