New CIAS 'Lions' Pride' Blessed
His Excellency joined forces with his opposite number from Jersey, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton GCB, to attend a ceremony in Jersey last Saturday (13th Apr) welcoming the brand new Channel Islands Air Search (CIAS) Britten Norman Islander aircraft to the islands. The new aircraft (registration 2-CIAS) will retain the name 'Lions' Pride' to acknowledge the enduring support to CIAS provided by the Gernsey and Jersey Lions Club. It is equipped with the latest avionics and an advanced Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) system all linked and controlled by advanced navigation and mission planning software. It represents a significant enhancement to the Islands' combined Search and Rescue capability.
Lions' Pride was formally blessed into service by the Dean of Jersey. The ceremony was also attended by friends and supporters of CIAS, members of the crew, representatives of the RNLI and other rescue agencies, and local Air Cadets.
On completion of the ceremony the aircraft returned to the UK to undertake final systems integration and certification and is expected to return to its new base in Guernsey and become fully operational later this summer.