Chinook helicopters set to train in skies over North Wales
Chinook helicopters will be seen in the skies over North Wales towards the end of this month as part of a training exercise.
It follows the announcement that three helicopters from 28 (Army Cooperation) Squadron, RAF Benson will be operating from RAF Valley between July 24 and August 4 to conduct essential training for crews.
The exercise, known as Kukri Dawn, is the conclusion of training to ensure that crews are tested in challenging and unfamiliar environments before being deployed as part of frontline squadrons.
The aircraft will mainly be operating in the areas surrounding RAF Valley, but will also transit to Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Yorkshire and Middlesbrough.
The training provides key skills for pilots and crew members to operate the Chinook helicopter on operations within the UK and overseas.
Skills include formation flying, low level training, simulated casualty evacuation and training with mountain rescue teams.
The operational phase of the course is the culmination of months of training by the students and, all being well, will see them return to RAF Benson ready to graduate.
The RAF has released further information to reassure residents over noise as it looks to minimise disruption.
In a statement, a spokesperson said: “They will be flying during RAF Valley’s normal operating hours of 0900 to 1700hrs, with no night flying expected.
At times, the Chinook helicopters may be operating in pairs at low level and may also train in urban environments, both of which are key skills for the crews.
“Every effort will be made to reduce any noise footprint. Those riding horses can help to be seen by aircrews by wearing hi-visibility clothing.
“RAF Valley provides an excellent forward operating base for the operational conversion unit, with additional support to the training being undertaken by introducing the crews to operating in unfamiliar surroundings and a different environment.”
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