Troops from the British Army’s Yorkshire Regiment have conducted training with the RAF in an exercise held in the north west of England from July 1 to July 5. The RAF contingent was two Puma helicopters from 33 Squadron based at Benson in Oxfordshire. The task was centred around pre-deployment training before undertaking operations in Afghanistan.
The Puma Force carried out its pre-deployment training in the Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle areas. Temporary based at RAF Woodvale in Merseyside, the Puma helicopters flew during the day and night using a variety of authorised helicopter landing sites in the areas. Operating in an urban environment is a key skill required by the Puma crews and the training that is provided in the Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle areas is invaluable as they are unfamiliar environments for many of the crews. The Puma Force is currently supporting the ongoing NATO training mission in Afghanistan, with their role dubbed Operation TORAL. They provide air transport to NATO troops and visiting dignitaries around Kabul.
The Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot) is an infantry regiment of the British Army, created by the amalgamation of three historic regiments in 2006. It is currently the only line infantry or rifles unit to represent a single geographical county in the new infantry structure, serving as the county regiment of Yorkshire.