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This is our office: 18 Irish Air Corps photos that put drones to shame

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The Wild Atlantic Way. Photo: Irish Air Corps

The Wild Atlantic Way. Photo: Irish Air Corps

The Skellig Islands, Co. Kerry, with UNESCO heritage site of Skellig Michael in the foreground. Photo: Irish Air Corps

The Skellig Islands, Co. Kerry, with UNESCO heritage site of Skellig Michael in the foreground. Photo: Irish Air Corps

'Every wondered what the Sally Gap looked like when you hear it's impassable?' Photo: Irish Air Corps

'Every wondered what the Sally Gap looked like when you hear it's impassable?' Photo: Irish Air Corps

St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. Photo: Irish Air Corps

St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. Photo: Irish Air Corps

Co. Mayo's Coastline as seen from the North over Erris Head. Photo: Irish Air Corps.

Co. Mayo's Coastline as seen from the North over Erris Head. Photo: Irish Air Corps.

'The coming and going of a seal colony on Sligo's shore.' Photo: Irish Air Corps

'The coming and going of a seal colony on Sligo's shore.' Photo: Irish Air Corps

'The Maritime Patrol crew's Office, 132,000 square miles of Irish Waters.' Photo: Irish Air Corps

'The Maritime Patrol crew's Office, 132,000 square miles of Irish Waters.' Photo: Irish Air Corps

Knocknarea, Co. Sligo. Photo: Irish Air Corps.

Knocknarea, Co. Sligo. Photo: Irish Air Corps.

Surfers in the water at Strandhill, Co. Sligo. Photo: Irish Air Corps.

Surfers in the water at Strandhill, Co. Sligo. Photo: Irish Air Corps.

Derrynane Bay, Co. Kerry. Photo: Irish Air Corps

Derrynane Bay, Co. Kerry. Photo: Irish Air Corps

Irish Air Corps

'The Great Skellig in hiding!' Photo: Irish Air Corps

'The Great Skellig in hiding!' Photo: Irish Air Corps

Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Photo: Irish Air Corps

Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Photo: Irish Air Corps

Lough Tay, Co. Wicklow. Photo: Irish Air Corps

Lough Tay, Co. Wicklow. Photo: Irish Air Corps

The small island of Inisheane and tidal coast around Dungloe, Co. Donegal.

The small island of Inisheane and tidal coast around Dungloe, Co. Donegal.

St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Photo: Irish Air Corps

St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Photo: Irish Air Corps

Giant's Causeway, Co. Antrim

Giant's Causeway, Co. Antrim

A rare view of the Blasket Islands as seen from the South West. Photo: Irish Air Corps

A rare view of the Blasket Islands as seen from the South West. Photo: Irish Air Corps

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The Wild Atlantic Way. Photo: Irish Air Corps

Ireland’s Air Corps logs 10,000 flying hours every year. But did you know it carries photographers on board?

This gallery of images (above), drawn from a vast collection of aerial snaps posted on Facebook, give a whole new perspective to their beat.

The Air Corps carries out approximately 5,500 missions a year, ranging from army and naval support to maritime patrols, search and rescues, air ambulances, surveys and more.

Founded in 1922, it is the air component of Ireland’s Permanent Defence Forces, with a base at Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel, Co. Dublin.

Photographers are carried on board for operational purposes.

The majority of the photos above were taken by members of 105 'Photographic and Airborne Imaging' Squadron while they were crew members on maritime patrol.

Such patrols are carried out daily and typically last several hours.

Their purpose is to monitor and record activity within Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone - an area covering 132,000 square nautical miles of the Atlantic Ocean... or "the Maritime Patrol crew's office", as it quips on Facebook.

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MV Plassey, Inis Oírr

The photographers capture images during the patrol used to document unlawful activity - such as illegal fishing or drug shipments - according to its press office.

"But they are sometimes treated to some wonderful views of Ireland's landscape and cannot resist capturing the scenic pictures you have seen."

Approximately 750 men and women now serve with the Air Corps, which operates 15 fixed wing aircraft and eight rotary wing aircraft along with two simulators.

You can bet these views weren't shot in the simulator, however.

Learn more about the Irish Air Corps by visiting military.ie/air-corps, on Twitter at @IrishAirCorps or on Facebook here. The Defence Forces 2015 Cadetship competition is open until May 1, 2015.

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Online Editors