4-Jul-2011 Source: HeliHub.com
From Friday 1st July, full responsibility for SAR work in the Netherlands passed from 860 Sqn in the Navy to 303 Sqn in the Air Force.
860 Squadron has operated Westland Lynx helicopters in this role since the late 1970s, when they superceded Wasps. The Lynx helicopters will continue with 860 Squadron in other roles, operating from naval ships on anti-piracy operations and counter-narcotics missions. The naval NH90s now being introduced will gradually take over these tasks from the Lynx fleet in the next few years..
303 Squadron was founded in 1959 specifically to perform SAR work for the Air Force.Â Through the years, the squadron had a different home bases and tasks. In the early 1970s it was stationed at Soesterberg Air Base, where the task was aerial photography and transport. In 1977 the squadron was moved to Leeuwarden Air Base and the task returned to SAR missions and patient transport. THey operate three Agusta-Bell 412SPs in a distinctive yellow and red scheme, and employ a total of 30 staff.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com