847 NAS Affiliations

Motto: Ex Alto Concutimus - "We Strike From On High"

Formed in 1995, and traditionally a war-fighting unit, the principal task of 847 NAS is to provide armed reconnaissance and direction of supporting arms capability, primarily in support of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines (3 Cdo Bde RM) on deployments worldwide.  847 NAS is part of the Commando Helicopter Force and is a unique unit within the UK Armed Forces. 3 Cdo Bde's combat power and ability to strike the enemy in depth is greatly enhanced by 847 NAS.

A fully-fledged Royal Navy Squadron, it is equipped with either Army-owned Lynx Mk7 or Mk9A helicopters, which are operated by Royal Marines and Royal Navy pilots.  Based at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton in Somerset the Squadron spends a large proportion of each year on deployments around the world.

847 is one of four Naval Air Squadrons in the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF), which is a central component of the UK's Joint Helicopter Command (JHC).

847 Naval Air Squadron is proud to be affiliated with the following:

1 Regiment AAC

5 Regiment AAC

SCC TS Boscawen, Weymouth

High Ham Branch of the Royal British Legion

847 Naval Air Squadron History

The Squadron's history has two distinct elements that have created the unique unit that it is today.

Naval Foundations

The history of 847 NAS began in the latter stages of World War 2 and the 1950's and 60's. Operating in locations as diverse as Cyprus and Malaysia, it was formed on an ad-hoc basis. In 1982 the Squadron was re-formed for the Falklands conflict operating 21 Wessex Mk 5s.

Royal Marine Ancestry
On the 12th August 1968, 3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron Royal Marines (3 Cdo Bde Air Sqn) was formed in Sembawang, Singapore. Equipped with 14 Sioux AH Mk1 helicopters, 3 Cdo Bde Air Sqn was the amalgamation of the Brigade Flight, 40 and 42 Cdo RM Air Troops and 29 Cdo RA Air Troop.

In 1971, 41 and 45 Cdo RM Air Troops were merged and 3 Cdo Bde Air Sqn was reorganised into one anti-tank flight and two utility flights, both equipped with Scouts, and four reconnaissance flights of Sioux.

The Sioux were replaced with 12 Gazelle AH1s in 1974/5 and in 1982 6 TOW-equipped Lynx replaced the Scouts. 3 Cdo Bde Air Sqn saw active service in a variety of environments from Northern Ireland to Belize and Kurdistan.

1995 - A New Beginning
On 1 September 1995 3 Cdo Bde Air Sqn was decommissioned and 847 NAS stood up.

Since 1995, elements of 847 NAS have been deployed in a variety of roles and to a wide range of destinations including Honduras to assist with the disaster relief after 'Hurricane Mitch' struck the Caribbean; Sierra Leone for Operation Palliser, Kosovo and, most recently, on Operation Telic in Iraq and Operation Herrick in Afghanistan. Awards to Squadron personnel include one MC, one MM, two DFCs, one DFM, one AFC, one MBE, two BEMs and nine mentions in dispatches.

Present Day
Today, the principal tasks of 847 NAS are to provide armed reconnaissance and direction of supporting arms capability – able to call in targeted fire from both friendly artillery and naval gunfire and employ air assets to neutralise enemy positions - primarily in support of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines (3 Cdo Bde RM).

Based at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton in Somerset, 847 NAS spends most of the year on deployments around the world. The Squadron consists of 6 Lynx AH Mk 7 aircraft, equipped to support the Brigade Commander.

In addition, 847 NAS are utilised for Command, Control & Communications tasks, providing a platform that enables force commanders to oversee the ground situation.

The Lynx Mk7 is also able to insert and extract small numbers of forces at speed and by a variety of methods including abseiling and fast roping.

847 NAS is unique in the Royal Navy in that the helicopters still belong to the British Army but are flown by Royal Marines and Royal Navy pilots.  In addition, pilots from both the Army Air Corps and United States Marine Corps fly on exchange with the Squadron.  Junior ranks of the Royal Marines are trained as door gunners using the 7.62 mm General Purpose Machine Gun or the .50 Cal.

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