Warship HMS Duncan joined a humanitarian training exercise in Cyprus focusing on search and rescue.
The type 45 destroyer joined several other countries in Cyprus for humanitarian training under Exercise Argonaut. The operation focused on search and rescue procedure and international collaboration.
The annual exercise saw countries including Greece, France, and Cyprus training together in a scenario which simulated an aircraft crashing into the water. Duncan’s Wildcat helicopter from Yeovilton-based 815 Naval Air Squadron joined the operation.
Air Engineering Technician Rhys Kennedy said: “We have spent some time practising winching while on deployment and had a few days at RAF Akrotiri doing search and rescue training. “
“It was good to be able to use these skills in an almost real-life situation, while at sea with other ships and helicopters. It was more realistic than any training we have done so far while away.”
“It shows the Wildcat’s diversity in what it can be used for.”
Aircraft flew from the ship to rescue ‘casualties’ from US ship USNS Yuma and Cypriot offshore patrol vessel Ioannides and took them to the HMS Duncan for treatment. Other ships and air units were 30 miles offshore to offer help when needed.
The second phase of Exercise Argonaut saw 120 of Portsmouth-based Duncan’s ship’s company act as evacuees of a war-torn country. They were all given different background stories and were processed by the customs team in Larnaka Port.
A range of Cyprus officials as well as customs control from different countries involved to practise the difficult processing routine. The second phase of the exercise also saw casualties from a stricken ship rescued by the Cypriot navy, with medical teams ready to help once it was alongside in the port.
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