Three Chinook helicopters from RAF Benson will be operating from RAF Woodvale from 21 June – 2 July 2021 to conduct essential training for crews during Exercise KUKRI DAWN.
The Exercise is the final part of the operational flying phase of the Chinook training course run by 28 Squadron based at RAF Benson; the Operational Conversion Unit for the Puma and Chinook Forces. The aircraft will primarily be operating in the areas surrounding RAF Woodvale and RAF Leeming, which could include the Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, York and Middlesbrough areas.
The course qualifies pilots and crewmen to operate the Chinook helicopter on operations within the UK and when deployed overseas. This is essential training providing key skills that will be required when they graduate from the Operational Conversion Unit and are posted to a front-line helicopter squadron. The operational phase of the course is the culmination of months of training by the students and, all being well, will see them return to RAF Benson ready to graduate.
They will be flying during RAF Woodvale’s normal operating hours of 0900 to 1700hrs, with no night flying expected. At times, the Chinook helicopters may be operating in pairs and may also train in urban environments, both of which are key skills for the crews.
RAF Woodvale provides an excellent forward operating base for the Operational Conversion Unit. It also provides additional support to the training being undertaking by introducing the crews to operating in unfamiliar surroundings and a different environment.