Exercise Hookers Herald

Joint Helicopter Support Squadron (JHSS) have recently completed their annual Continuation Training exercises 1 & 2 (CT 1 & CT2).

Image credit: SAC Ryan Murray.

Deploying into a frozen -12C Longmoor training area JHSS began their annual back-to-basics field exercise. Testing both RAF and Army personnel in Section battle drills, navigation, patrolling and building clearances, alongside harbour defence and administration in the field, culminating in a Platoon attack.
Being a Joint and mixed cap-badge Squadron, it is essential that all personnel are trained to the same standard and are able to conduct these drills effectively in extreme conditions. With JHSS instructors to hand JHSS personnel were soon effectively carrying out Section level attacks, with the Army’s Battlefield simulation adding realism by telling individuals whether they had been hit.

The finale of the exercise saw a SNCO deliver his orders and prepare for a Platoon level attack, assaulting 3 separate enemy positions. Each section, under their section commander, assaulted and suppressed the enemy before regrouping in the rear. The Sections seamlessly completed their assaults and demonstrated a strong understanding of the tactics involved and the importance of mission command.

The Second week saw JHSS redeploy to Salisbury Plain for CT2. This element was directed towards our specialist role as helicopter handlers, preparing multi-lane load parks and complex loads for JHC assets to utilise.

Whilst the weather proved abysmal, with significant snow and fog, JHSS were still able to achieve all of its training objectives, further demonstrating their status as a highly professional specialist unit. Our Helicopter Handling Instructors oversaw the rigging of complex loads such as R-WMIK, 105 Light guns and plenty of landrovers.

Aircraft from RAF Odiham arrived on station to utilise the loads provided, the training proven to be highly successful as both passenger and underslung loads were moved across the training area.

This allow new members of JHSS to gain additional exposure under the disc away from the familiarities of Odiham and Benson Tac-Parks.
In all CT1 & 2 were both hugely successful for JHSS who have confirmed our personnel’s abilities to perform their duties in austere conditions at all hours. Having accomplished this JHSS can look forward to yet another busy year supporting Aviation assets around the Globe.

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