HMAS Adelaide has recently provided a platform for Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters from the 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville to conduct training at sea.
The CH-47 helicopters have been conducting Deck Landing Operations that will qualify them to support any future operations that would require heavy lift capability, both day and night, from the Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs).
HMAS Adelaide Commander Air, Commander Leon Volz said the essential training off the coast of Queensland involved both the Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment and the ship’s own Aviation Support crew.
“Adelaide is currently providing the embarked CH-47 element the opportunity for Army aircrew to gain Deck Landing Qualifications as well as providing training and journal progression for new members of the Ship’s Aviation Team,” he said.
“Once the CH-47 aircrew have completed their qualification it will allow 5 Aviation’s CH-47 force to be ready to provide heavy lift capability from the LHDs in support of Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) and amphibious operations,” Commander Volz said.
The embarked Navy MRH and MH-60R aircrew are also using this period of training to maintain and hone their skills to ensure that they are ready to support current and future operations.
HMAS Adelaide recommenced essential aviation and amphibious training activities off the coast of Queensland following a scheduled port visit to Townsville to undertake logistical resupply and refuelling.
As well as the Deck Landing Operations, Adelaide will support a variety of exercises to maintain capability, including landing craft training, Damage Control routines, assault guide training and Wet and Dry Rehearsals (WADER).
Adelaide is currently the Navy’s high-readiness vessel and is available to support humanitarian and disaster relief operations domestically and in the region.
HMAS Adelaide Executive Officer Commander Jace Hutchison said the ship had put in place strict protocols for the resupply visit and subsequent training and was following whole-of-government guidance in relation to COVID-19.
“It is important that we maintain Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) capability and readiness, but the health and well-being of our people and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 is our highest priority,” Commander Hutchison said.
The Landing Helicopter Dock first left Sydney on 31 March and has already completed three weeks of successful First of Class Flight Trials (FOCFT) involving MH-60R ‘Romeo’ helicopters.