On Wednesday 9th February 2011 I made a visit down to Netheravon to see what was happening during the current Exercise PASHTUN DAGGER / JAGUAR where 3 Commando Brigade are training for there forthcoming deployment to Afghanistan. Several helicopters were in use to assist with this training.
The FRP (Forward Refueling Platform) is set up near to Netheravon airfield on SPTA (Salisbury Plain Training Area) and was visited frequently through the afternoon by Chinooks, Merlin's, Lynx's and Gazelle's and not forgetting the Apache's too (although they didn't visit while we were there!).
Itt was an overcast misty day but much warmer than last years trip. the flying kicked off around 11:00 and we were on site from about 11:30 having popped to Boscombe Down first for a quick look around.
first moves were a pair of Merlin's and a Chinook HC3, the Chinook was the first in for fuel, and treated us to a rather nice departure before it headed back on to the camp. The Merlin's dropped in next followed by a Lynx AH7. Two rather nice visits were the ISTAR equipped Gazelle AH1 and Lynx AH7. with a regular Chinook HC2 dropping in too. The Apache's headed out for a mission around 15:00 and did not return before we left for the day. sadly light was failing by 16:00 and we decided it was a good time to head home
Care must always be taken when visiting the SPTA and please always abide by any rules that are enforced during your visits. We would like the thank the units present for allowing us to photograph the action as it took place.