Commando Helicopter Force
The Commando Helicopter Force, based at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, comprises over 700 Royal Navy and Royal Marines aircrew and support personnel; and is equipped with the Merlin Mk4 (Commando Merlin) and Wildcat BRH (Commando Wildcat). CHF is both a battlefield and maritime force that is trained, equipped and organised for expeditionary joint operations.
The personnel of CHF operate in the most extreme conditions, from sub-zero winter conditions north of the Arctic Circle to tropical jungles and deserts around the world. As a maritime force, they operate from a variety of RN and RFA ships and are experts in specialist amphibious and Littoral operations. CHF can deploy anywhere in the world and is fully self-sufficient in helicopter engineering, logistics, fuel delivery and stores. It has its own 'green fleet' of operational vehicles and operators, and a defence force to protect forward deployed sites. CHF's unique commando and parachute trained Mobile Air Operations Team can operate in any amphibious, maritime and land operational environment.
Known as 'Junglies' CHF is unique, being equally at home at sea or on land, familiar with its other Joint Helicopter Command counterparts yet proud members of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm.
CHF was formed in 1997 to consolidate command and control of the various Fleet Air Arm and Royal Marines helicopter Squadrons which supported 3 Commando Brigade under Flag Officer Naval Aviation.
In 1999, CHF joined with various Army Air Corps and Royal Air Force elements to form Joint Helicopter Command, whilst maintaining its status as a formed unit.
The Commando Helicopter Force has operated in Northern Ireland to 2002, Sierra Leone in 2000 and Bosnia to 2002, Iraq to 2007 and Afghanistan until 2011.
CHF is made up of three Squadrons:
845 Naval Air Squadron, operating the Merlin Mk4.
846 Naval Air Squadron, operating the Merlin Mk4.
847 Naval Air Squadron, operating the Wildcat BRH.
The Combat Support Squadron and the Commando Mobile Air Operations Team are also part of the Commando Helicopter Force.
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