Monday, February 7, 2011

DOING what they love doing right now are the men and women of 814 Naval Air Squadron – the Flying Tigers.


DOING what they love doing right now are the men and women of 814 Naval Air Squadron – the Flying Tigers.

The Navy’s No.1 submarine hunting squadron has flown 1,400 miles from its home at Culdrose in Cornwall to Sicily to take part in the world’s largest anti-submarine exercise.
Run by NATO, Proud Manta (it used to be called Noble Manta until this year) sees ships, aircraft and submarines from the USA, Canada, Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Turkey plus hosts Italy converging on the central Med for a week.
There are half a dozen submarines for the surface and air forces to ‘play’ with – and the first chance for 814 to do some serious pinging since last year’s trip to the USA with the Auriga task group, which proved extremely useful for the squadron.

The Flying Tigers’ enthusiastic CO, Cdr Darran Goldsmith, says he “can’t wait” to go a-hunting.
“Proud Manta provides 814 the opportunity to hone its asubmarine skills,” he adds. “In addition, for aircrew new to the front line the transit to and from Sicily will offer excellent navigation training and experience.
“The interaction with our Italian Merlin counterparts – engineering practices and flying procedures – is a most welcome bonus in an exercise which promises much in a concentrated period of focussed tactical activity.”
The exercise runs until the end of the week.

An 814 Merlin launches a Sting Ray practice torpedo during last year's Auriga exercise off the USA. Picture: LA(Phot) Gregg Macready
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