Operational Conversion Unit Training

After Basic Training observers are streamed to one of the three Operational Conversion Units to learn how to operate their chosen helicopter. Aircraft Conversion Phase (ACP) training will convert you to being in a helicopter and Operational Conversion Phase (OCP) training will teach you how to fight it.

All OCU training is broken down into ACP and OCP. The former aims to convert your skills to the specific helicopter type whilst OCP teaches you how to fight an aircraft in a variety of roles anywhere in the world. 

If you are streamed Lynx you will move to 702 NAS at RNAS Yeovilton. ACP and OCP will take 11 months before you finally get front line and join a ship’s flight on the back of a frigate or T45 destroyer. 

You will learn how to operate on your own miles from your ship on a myriad of simulated missions. These can be from delivering humanitarian aid to a hurricane-ravaged Caribbean Island, finding a pirate off the African coast or engaging a hostile patrol vessel with Sea Skua missiles.

For those who go to the Merlin Mk2 you will learn all about Anti-Submarine Warfare at 824 NAS in Cornwall. Over 15 months you will learn about active and passive searches to hunt down and potentially destroy an enemy submarine, whether on your own or as a group of helicopters that you control. 

If that isn’t enough, you’ll need to be able to assist in humanitarian aid and counter-piracy operations too! The Sea King ASaC is the ‘Eyes of the Fleet’. The training will take 12 months at 849 NAS in Cornwall. 

With a radar that can see potential enemies out to hundreds of miles over land, sea or air you need to be able to think hard and fast. Whether looking for hostile targets moving over the ground or controlling the most advanced jets in the world to intercept a hostile attack on your force the roles are almost limitless. 

So what then? Then you get your ‘Wings’ and join the best flying force in the world!

702 Naval Air Squadron

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824 Naval Air Squadron

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829 Naval Air Squadron

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