|Many people consider RAF Cottesmorea quiet base but today’s activity proves that it can be very active. The three hour period I spend at the base saw 18 movements and the morning was a similar pace. This is even more impressive when you consider there are only two active squadrons (4(AC) Sqn and the Naval Strike Wing (NSW) at present with 1 Sqn currently deployed to Afghanistan).
The JUMP upgrade program that is responsible for upgrading the Harriers for GR7 standard to GR9 standard continues and this visit only saw one active GR7.
Between the JUMP upgrade program and the deployments to Afghanistan a lot of Harriers have stopped displaying squadron markings so it was especially pleasing to see a large proportion of the airframes used today sporting 4(AC) Sqn markings.
Not to be outdone by 4(AC) Sqn the NSW have also got an airframe sporting markings. The NSW markings are made up of 800 NAS (on the nozzle) and 801 NAS (on the tail) markings. Previous to this only two other airframes have displayed these markings, these are 35 / ZD406 and 11 / ZD330 which no longer has the markings.