Australian Navy MH-60R helicopters reach 10,000 hour milestone

A Royal Australian Navy MH-60R Romeo helicopter conducts functional testing of the newly fitted Airborne Low Frequency Sonar System (ALFS) off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy’s MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopters reached a fleet milestone of 10,000 flying hours since December 2013 when the 725 Squadron began operating from Naval Air Station Jacksonville in the USA.

Since 2013, operations and training have continued steadily with the return of the squadron to Australia, the acceptance of a major new facility at HMAS Albatross, in Nowra, New South Wales, preparation of the west-based facilities at HMAS Stirling and upgrades to a suite of training devices.

“The fact that our Navy has achieved it in less than four years since commencing flying the type, while continuously accepting new aircraft, standing up new flights and progressing through the various transitions is a testament to the talent and professionalism of all involved with the Romeo helicopters,” Commodore Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Chris Smallhorn said.

MH-60R helicopters have started flying with 816 Squadron, facilitating an increasing number of embarked flights committed to operations and exercises. That squadron has currently mounted five fully capable MH-60R embarked flights and the sixth flight has formed.

“Overall, our MH-60R aircraft have completed more than 3,500 sorties all around the world,” Commodore Smallhorn said.

Commanding Officer 725 Squadron, Commander Matt Royals, said the mix of computer based training, simulation and flying has proven second to none in preparing Navy people for the ultimate objective.

“The focus on the training production of aircrew and maintainers ensures that the personnel critical to the capability can both support the embarked flights and keep the aircraft at the cutting edge of warfighting,” he said.

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Posted on September 13, 2017 with tags , .

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