845 NAS

845 Naval Air Squadron

845 Naval Air Squadron formally took over the Merlin Mk3 from RAF’s 28 Squadron as the air force’s last Merlin formation passed into history.

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845 stood down as a Sea King formation back in May, handing over the last of its veteran helicopters to 848 NAS who’ll see them out of service over the next eight months. 

In the meantime, the normally-Yeovilton-based 845 NAS are settling down in Oxfordshire until summer of 2016 as air and ground crews get to grips with an aircraft which is at least one generation ahead of the helicopter it replaces. 

And as they do, 28 will be turning into a Puma and Chinook training squadron preparing RAF fliers for front-line duties.

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Operation Complete Training

The unit is being put through its paces in preparation for returning to front line operations.

Location UK

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Unit History

Action in the Far East1943

The squadron was originally formed in February 1943 Flying Grumman Avenger torpedo bombers, seeing extensive action in the Far East in 1944 and 1945.

Battle Honours1945

East Indies 1944-45
Burma 1945

The First Anti-Submarine Helicopter Squadron1955

Disbanded at the war’s end, 845 reappeared in 1955 with Sikorsky S55s and, from 1957, Westland Whirlwinds, as the first anti-submarine helicopter squadron in the Fleet Air Arm.

The First Commando Helicopter Squadron1959

The squadron was disbanded again in 1959 before reforming in 1962 to see immediate action in the jungles of Brunei and Borneo, establishing the ‘junglie’ nickname which persists today.

Northern Ireland, The Falklands and Kuwait1970

845 spent much of the 1970s and early ’80s supporting the security and peacekeeping mission in Northern Ireland, but its helicopters were also sent to the South Atlantic in 1982.

Battle Honours1982

Falklands 1982

Gulf War 11991

Another invasion half a world away saw the squadron earn its next battle honour during the international effort to drive Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait.

Battle Honours1991

Peacekeeping1992

From the end of 1992 until 2005, 845 maintained a permanent presence in the former Yugoslavia supporting UN/NATO peacekeeping operations; the longest-serving unit in theatre.

Returning to the Gulf2003

In 2003 the squadron returned to the Gulf, this time during the campaign to oust Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. Once the dictator had been toppled, the Sea Kings remained in the country.

Afghanistan2008

After improvements and upgrades to the Sea Kings, and with the mission in Iraq over, 845 was sent to Afghanistan in March 2008.

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