Landing and lifting at sea

HMAS Choules is back at sea to enhance its air movement capability and train Navy and Army personnel in essential maritime skills.

CAPTIONLeading Seaman Michael Mason marshals an Army CH-47 Chinook on board HMAS Choules during aviation training off the coast of Townsville, Queensland. Photo by Able Seaman Jasmine Saunders.

From February 12 to 21, the crew of Choules and Army CH-47 Chinook pilots from 5th Aviation Regiment teamed up to conduct deck landing procedures and heavy air lift movements off the coast of Townsville.

The training ensures both services have a continuous supply of personnel equipped with the skills to conduct maritime operations safely.

On Choules’ flight deck, personnel were trained concurrently in marshalling and helicopter control with Chinooks, conducting more than 150 landings and vertical replenishment lifts from the ship.

CAPTION: HMAS Choules’ flight deck team during aviation training off the coast of Townsville, Queensland. Photo by Leading Seaman David Cox.

This capability is essential to amphibious operations when other forms of logistical movement are impossible. Navy can deliver large supplies of equipment, with Army getting it where it needs to go ashore.

The ADF is the only organisation capable of conducting this sort of operation on such a large scale and Choules is one of three Navy vessels capable of amphibious lodgement in the littoral environment.

Commanding Officer Choules Commander Arron Convery said he was satisfied his ship would be able to respond swiftly to any request from the government, and believes the people under his command are the reason for the ship’s continual success.

“The pride, passion and professionalism that my crew has shown throughout this period is a testament to each individuals character,” he said.

“I’m proud of what they’ve achieved during this period at sea.”

Choules will now be re-tasked to conduct a multi-ship and submarine exercise in the East Australian Exercise Area and will deploy to the South-West Pacific to work closely with its international partners later in the year.

CAPTIONHMAS Choules as seen from the back of a CH-47 Chinook after completion of aviation training off the coast of Townsville. Photo by Leading Seaman Abdus Chowdhury.


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