On this page you will find a selection of my work for Portuguese armed forces and about military events in Portugal.

Please feel free to download some PDF copies of my published work for non-commercial purposes.

I work with my colleague Menso van Westrhenen when visiting Portugal, he usually arranges most contacts. If you work in the Portuguese armed forces and you would like to hear about us from someone you may know, I have personally met and worked closely with the following persons who are well aware of the work I do:

P. Bernardino (Esq 502), H. Maximo (Esq 502), R. Nunes (Esq 751), J. Teixeira (Esq 751), T. Violante (Esq 751).
(first names are withheld for privacy reasons, ranks because they change over time)

Dirk Jan de Ridder

Magic Merlins, in Air Forces Monthly (August 2013)
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Elefants to the Rescue, in Global Aviator (November 2014)
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“We fly as far away as 350 miles offshore. Long-range missions bring planning to a whole new level. Every small factor can influence the mission. For example, if the sea state is worse than expected it might take a couple more minutes to rescue someone from a ship. You can imagine how this adds up if we have to rescue ten or more people. So, in long-range SAR missions a good plan is essential.”

Lt Ricardo Nunes
about long-range search and rescue missions with the Merlin helicopter

“Our relation with 751 Squadron dates back to a mixed squadron we had, Esquadra 711 in the Azores. In that squadron we had four crews flying the SA330 [Puma] and four crews flying the C-212 [Aviocar]. Our main purpose then was to be there in case the Puma went down into the ocean. Today, on missions over 100 nautical missions or if the helicopter commander asks for support, we go in front of them to make all the weather calculations, communications relay and give the last position [of the ship] to the helicopter.”

LtCol Pedro Miguel Oliveira Bernardino
about their cooperation with the Merlin helicopter during SAR missions

Elephants to the rescue
December 16, 2014
The Airbus Military C-295s of Esquadra 502 ‘Elefantes’ are some of the Portuguese Air Force’s most sought-after air assets for a variety of missions. Read more
Magic Merlins – 751 Squadron
August 29, 2013
Despite serious budget cuts, EH101 Merlin pilots at 751 Squadron of the Portuguese Air Force remain focused at the search and rescue role. Read more