IX(B) SQN NPAS VISIT
On the 17th August, 5 aircrew from IX(B) Sqn travelled to the National Police Air Service (NPAS) unit in Essex to understand how the Police Force use their airborne units and reconnaissance capabilities to maximum effect.
After arriving at the unit, we were shown the helicopter that the Police Aircrew use to great effect catching those criminals that manage to give the ground units the slip. Explaining how they integrated their air assets with ground and dog units to encircle and capture those on the run, we were interested to hear the similarities with our own experiences. After this introduction, we launched on one of the unit’s routine crime fighting sorties; following the Thames through central London, we were afforded the perfect view of the London skyline. Keen to make a citizen’s arrest, Flt Lt Baker was desperately scanning the back streets of central London for any undesirables. Before long an opportunity arose and the helicopter was tasked to search for a wanted man on the run; hopping garden fences to make a dash for it. Unfortunately by the time we were eyes on to the target, ground units arrived on scene and Flt Lt Baker was informed he could stand down. All in all, we experienced an incredible opportunity to observe the most valuable Police asset in action and the brilliant work they do every day over our capital city.