British Military Aviation in 1975

Following the de facto collapse of the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO)
in the aftermath of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the British government
terminates its declaration to CENTO and redirects all resources to the
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). As a consequence, all Royal
Air Force (RAF) fixed-wing aircraft were withdrawn from Cyprus during
this month and redeployed to RAF Strike Command.

11 October
Following the breakdown of negotiations between Britain and Guatemala
with regard to the status of the British colony of Belize, Guatemalan
troops begin massing on the border between the two countries. In response,
the British Army garrison was reinforced and a detachment of three Westland/Aerospatiale
Puma HC1s from No.33 Squadron was flown to Belize aboard Short Belfasts
of No.53 Squadron.

6-8 November
Six British Aerospace (BAe) Harrier GR1As of No.1 Squadron RAF are despatched
to Belize to further strengthen the British garrison in an effort to deter
any possible Guatemalan military action. Subsequently, the threat was
judged to have diminished and the Harriers were dismantled and flown back
to the United Kingdom during April 1976.

24 November
The ‘Third Cod War’; Royal Air Force British Aerospace (BAe) Nimrod maritime
patrol aircraft resumed intensive surveillance flights within the 200
mile fishing zone announced by the Icelandic Government (Operation Heliotrope).
Nimrod sorties were mounted in order to fulfil three objectives: to locate
British and Icelandic vessels in support of the Royal Navy, to provide
a British military presence in support of United Kingdom trawlers and
to demonstrate to the Icelandic Government the United Kingdom’s resolve
to protect British fishing interests. Nimrod patrols were subsequently
supplemented by a small number of sorties flown by Handley Page Hastings
T5 aircraft of No.230 Operational Conversion Unit.

26 November
The Icelandic Government announces that all airfields on Iceland were
closed to British military aircraft as from this date.