Orca class trains with Cyclone

Photo by LS Gibson, MARPAC Imaging Services

Photo by LS Gibson, MARPAC Imaging Services

Lt(N) Evan Park, Naval Fleet School (Pacific) ~

On a clear sunny afternoon in Constance Bank, four Patrol Craft Training (PCT) Orcas operated with a CH-148 Cyclone Helicopter (call sign Stinger 20) for the first time.

The vessels were at sea in support of the Athabaskan Naval Warfare Officer IV Charge phase.

The Cyclone, a much more powerful aircraft than the Sea King, created significant downwash, so it was important to determine the effects on the Orca class and to practice countering such effects.

Once interoperability was proven, the aircraft pilot and the officers in charge of PCT Wolf, Raven and Grizzly exercised personnel transfers between the two platforms.

“Proving the concept opens the door to future transfers of provisions or personnel while underway, increasing flexibility in routine operations and/or during emergency response situations” said LCdr Erik Poirier, Officer in Charge of PCT Wolf.

Athabaskan NWO IV Charge students, in their last training phase before joining the fleet, had a unique opportunity to work with the new airframe.

“Working with the Cyclone this week was a rare opportunity for myself and my fellow students,” said A/SLt Liam Moors. “We did not expect to work with it until we reached the fleet, let alone be a part of the first operation ever between the two platforms. It was a great experience.”

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