Sixty men and women from the Royal Netherlands Navy were recently welcomed at RNAS Culdrose - when they came to make the most of the fantastic facilities in and around Cornwall.

But unlike most visitors to Cornwall, the Dutch were not here to sample pasties or ice-cream – instead the sailors took their NH90 helicopter over the deep sea to hunt for submarines.

They also took advantage of the excellent facilities at Culdrose, hosted by 820 Naval Air Squadron, and used the busy nearby Predannack training airfield. The Royal Navy said it was always pleased to work alongside the UK’s NATO allies and visits by the Dutch take place twice a year.

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Lieutenant Commander Friso Feenstra, the head of tactical training and in charge of the deployment the Dutch 7 Squadron, said: “The North Sea is so shallow that we can’t train with submarines. Here, it is perfect and Cornwall is very beautiful too. We are very happy to be here. We’re always so warmly received. There’s always been a very close link between Holland and England I think.”

The Dutch practised anti-submarine warfare training by stalking one of their own submarines. In their first week in Cornwall, the Dutch managed to clock their target of 50 flying hours. Their second week was less successful with thick cloud.

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Lieutenant Commander Feenstra added: “We’ve had a great time although we’ve been hampered by the weather for a couple of days. We had two crews in rotation so in between and at weekends when the airfield was closed we have been able to see Cornwall too. People went to St Ives and some went as far as Plymouth.”