Army Aviation turns 50 – Kiowa retires

The Australian Army Aviation Corps today marked 50 years since formation, celebrating with a ceremonial parade, flypast and a variety of displays at the Army Aviation Training Centre, Oakey, Queensland.

CAPTION: Two Black Hawk helicopters from 6th Aviation Regiment fly over Sydney Harbour to celebrate 50 years of the Australian Army Aviation Corps. Photo by Photo by Flight Sergeant Glen McCarthy.

In addition to the flypast in Oakey, simultaneous flypasts were held in Sydney, Townsville and Darwin.

Head of Australian Army Aviation Corps Brigadier Scott Benbow said he was proud to join past and present personnel to mark this important milestone.

“Then and now, the corps is committed to helping the Australian soldier fight, survive and win, and be ready to serve wherever needed,” Brigadier Benbow said.

“From a small corps formed in 1968 flying light fixed-wing aircraft, the Australian Army Aviation Corps has grown to be an advanced, state-of-the-art force.

“Today, the Australian Army Aviation Corps flies a variety of capabilities, including the Tiger armed reconnaissance, Chinook medium lift and Taipan multi role helicopters.”

Today’s celebrations also saw the final flight and retirement of the Army’s Bell 206B-1 Kiowa fleet after almost 47 years of service.

“Kiowa has been Army’s primary training helicopter since 1990, and every pilot, groundcrew member and maintainer who has served since that time has one thing in common – Kiowa,” Brigadier Benbow said.

“The Kiowa fleet has provided stalwart service to the Army since 1971, whether on deployment, in disaster relief operations or as a training helicopter.

“All personnel, past and present, who have operated, maintained and supported the Kiowa can be proud of the part they have played in Army’s history.”


  • CONTACT Editor Brian Hartigan worked on Kiowa helicopters at 162 Reconnaissance Squadron from 1992 to 1997, as an Aircraft Fitter (helicopter engine and airframe mechanic) – very fond memories.









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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

One thought on “Army Aviation turns 50 – Kiowa retires

  • 22/10/2018 at 9:47 am

    I too have fond memories of the Kiowa….even named my house in honour of it.
    I was part of the assessment team that bought the first three years spares, we spent a very nice time at the Bell factory in Fort Worth for 3 months (October 1970 to February 1971). I was a Sgt Elecfitt.and saw the whole spares purchase go through the identification and catalogue process as part of the LOH Project at HQ Support Command, St Kilda Rd, Melb.


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