Commander Australian Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Vince Di Pietro, recently visited New Squadron 725 (NUSQN 725) in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Commander Fleet Air Arm spent a very busy three days at Jacksonville visiting the Squadron and all the other people and moving parts that make up the Royal Australian Navy’s future Seahawk Romeo helicopter capability.
Addressing the Squadron at a Clear Lower Deck, Commodore Di Pietro highlighted the work that was progressing in Australia in order to prepare for the return of NUSQN 725. He described the eagerness of all those working in Australia to ensure a smooth transition for the newest Squadron into the Royal Australian Navy and commended the efforts of the men and woman in Jacksonville, who represent the future of this great capability.
During the visit, Commodore Di Pietro had the opportunity to view aircraft maintenance activities, meet with the Squadron’s personnel, and meet with support staff including Resident Project Team members, onsite Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky representatives and aircrew members undergoing training at the US Navy’s Training Squadron HSM 40.
Whilst at Naval Station Mayport, the Commander of the Australian Fleet Air Arm grabbed the opportunity to fly in the MH-60R Simulator, after observing a mission utilising the Airborne Low Frequency Sonar (ALFS) and the Hellfire missile systems.
The final day of the visit provided him with a hands-on opportunity to experience the MH-60R airborne. After taking off from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, he was provided a complete demonstration of the capability that the aircraft will deliver. This included Anti Submarine Warfare dipping operations, Hellfire missile simulation and a demonstration of the tactical mission set installed in the aircraft.
Press Release, June 13, 2014; Image: Australian Navy