The Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) is a part of the Fleet Air Arm, and is an element of the Joint Helicopter Command of the British Armed Forces; which provides Rotary-Wing (helicopter) support to 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines and other elements. Squadron personnel are drawn from all 3 Armed Services, although the majority are from the Royal Navy.
The Commando Helicopter Force was formed in 1997 to consolidate command and control of the various Fleet Air Arm and Royal Marines helicopter squadrons which supported 3 Commando Brigade under Flag Officer Naval Aviation. It is based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset.
In 1999, the CHF merged with various Royal Air Force and Army Air Corps force elements to become the Joint Helicopter Command, whilst maintaining its status as a formed unit.
Elements of the force have operated in Northern Ireland to 2002, Sierra Leone in 2000 and Bosnia and it was an element of the amphibious force for Operation Telic, the British involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, notably supporting the landings to secure the Al Faw Peninsula.
The Commando Helicopter Force has 4 Naval Air Squadrons with separate roles:
845 Naval Air Squadron - Medium-lift - Sea King HC4
846 Naval Air Squadron - Medium-lift - Sea King HC4
847 Naval Air Squadron - Light-lift, anti-armour and reconnaissance - Lynx AH7
848 Naval Air Squadron - Sea King HC4 training unit. A special unit with 848 Squadron, M Flight, is tasked with supporting the Special Boat Service(SBS) in their operations.
Fleet Air Arm Association
3 Arundel Drive
Fareham Hants PO16 7NP