Merlin Helicopters Join HMS Bulwark’s Mission

Merlin helicopters from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose have began scouring hundreds of square miles of the Central Mediterranean as the Royal Navy’s humanitarian mission moves up a gear.

814 Naval Air Squadron’s Merlin’s are scanning large swathes of the Mediterranean Sea on the lookout for people in peril.

Having completed a 1,000-mile journey across Europe from their West Cornwall base the three Merlins from the “Flying Tigers” are acting as Bulwark’s ‘eyes in the sky’, while the ship co-ordinates the UK mission, together with Italian Navy and Coast Guard.

Operating from Sigonella Naval Air Station near Catania in eastern Sicily, the Merlin Mk2 aircraft will use Bulwark as a ‘lilypad’- a floating service station in the middle of the Mediterranean between the Libyan and Sicilian coastlines.

Image: Royal Navy