829 NAS

829 Naval Air Squadron

829 Naval Air Squadron – the Kingfishers – provides the Navy’s Type 23 frigates with the Merlin helicopters they need to operate around the world.

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There are five ship’s flights in support of six Type 23s which are equipped for Merlins.

A Type 23 and Merlin make a powerful team, but the helicopter is generally called upon to carry out much wider duties – maritime surveillance missions, searching for pirates, smugglers and drug-runners – all of which lives up to the squadron's motto 'non effugient' - they shall not escape.

The squadron's helicopters can also provide support for disaster relief missions, as well as carrying passengers, load lifting and search and rescue sorties.

As with the rest of the Fleet Air Arm’s Merlin force, 829 NAS is based at Culdrose, just outside Helston in Cornwall.

Kingfishers and Tigers go hunting


829 Naval Air Squadron Latest News

Culdrose Marksmen are Top Guns

HMS Westminster returns

A whirlin' Merlin and the crash of the 4.5in gun announce HMS Westminster's return

See all news for 829 Naval Air Squadron

Operation Operational Sea Training

The ship and her company are being put through their paces in preparation for returning to front line operations.

  • Operation Patwin

    Operation Patwin is the military component of the UK’s humanitarian aid mission to the Philippines after the ravages of Typhoon Haiyan.

Location UK

Four locations are being used around the United Kingdom

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Unit History

In the Beginning..1940

Today’s 829 Naval Air Squadron is the fourth incarnation of a unit which traces its history back more than 70 years. The squadron began life in 1940 at RNAS Ford flying Fairey Albacore bombers.

New Squadron, New Battle Honours1940

In November they joined the carrier HMS Formidable in the Mediterranean and Middle East, hunting for the German cruiser Admiral Hipper and striking at targets in Italian-held Somaliland.

Battle Honours1941

Matapan 1941
Crete 1941
Mediterranean 1941

Invasion of Madagascar1942

Re-equipped with Swordfish and attached to HMS Illustrious the squadron subsequently took part in the invasion of Madagascar in 1942.

New Technology1943

Stood down in October 1942 it re-emerged 12 months later at HMS Daedalus as a torpedo-bomber reconnaissance unit operating Fairey Barracudas. It first struck at the German battleship Tirpitz.

Battle Honours1944

Norway 1944

After a 20 Year Absence1964

After a 20-year absence, 829 appeared once more in its longest incarnation, assuming its present-day role providing helicopter detachments for the Fleet in 1964.

Eliminating Saddam Hussein's Navy1991

Before it disbanded in 1994, it operated an asortment of Wasps, Whirlwinds and Wessex, and finally Lynx; the latter helped to eliminate Saddam Hussein’s Navy in the 1991 Gulf War.

The Third Incarnation1993

This third incarnation of the squadron came to an end in 1993 when 815 NAS took over parentage of all front-line Lynx ship’s flights.

Trafalgar Day2004

The squadron returned in its current form on Trafalgar Day 2004.

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Commanding Officer Kay Burbidge

Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Lt Cdr Burbidge joined the Royal Navy in 1988. She took command of 829 NAS in June 2016.

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