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HRH Duke of York Marks Launch of Ascent’s Training Facilities

HRH Duke of York Marks Launch of Ascent’s Training Facilities

His Royal Highness the Duke of York, Commodore-in-Chief Fleet Air Arm, visited Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose on Tuesday 28 June 2011 and marked the arrival of the United Kingdom Flying Training System (UKMFTS) at RNAS Culdrose. 

The Duke was met on arrival at RNAS Culdrose by Lady Mary Holborow, Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, accompanied by Captain Toby Williamson, the Commanding Officer of RNAS Culdrose, Commodore Martin Westwood the Assistant Chief of Staff (Carrier Strike and Aviation), and Sir Barry Thornton, Managing Director of Ascent Flight Training.  Sir Barry Thornton briefed senior military and industry guests on Ascent’s role in the delivery of UKMFTS and the new Observer training, which has just begun at RAF Barkston Heath on June 20th. The Duke was then briefed on current operations in which Culdrose-based Naval Air Squadrons are involved around the world before meeting the Commanding Officer of 750 Naval Air Squadron, Lieutenant Commander Nick Armstrong and other squadron personnel. 

UKMFTS is a tri-service flying training programme which caters for the Royal Navy, the RAF and the Army Air Corps, and central to UKMFTS at Culdrose are the new King Air Avengers of 750 Naval Air Squadron supported by Ascent Flight Training.  The Avengers will provide training for Observers and navigators and equip them for further advanced training in modern aircraft like the Merlin where advanced technology is extensively used. During his visit the Duke was shown the new Avenger aircraft and witnessed the capabilities of Ascent’s advanced simulator for Observer and navigator training.

The Duke trained as a helicopter pilot at RNAS Culdrose in 1981 and later saw action in the South Atlantic during the Falklands war.  He went on to serve as a pilot on various Naval Air Squadrons until 1996 before taking up appointments in the Ministry of Defence, leaving the Royal Navy in 2001.

Posted on: 01/07/11