Page 52 - Australian Defence Magazine November 2019
P. 52

Sustaining the
Army’s 10 Boeing
CH-47F Chinook helicopters not only provide a vital medium lift capability for land manoeuvre operations, but are an integral component of the ADF’s ability to project force across the beach.
THE Chinook is now a crucial member, together with the MRH-90 Taipan battle- field mobility helicopter and Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, of an amphibi- ous Air Combat Element (ACE), operating from the decks of Navy’s amphibious war- fare vessels.
Supporting the capability as the current CH-47 Integrated Support Services Con- tract (CISSC) provider is Boeing Defence Australia, which provides training, engi- neering and maintenance support to Army Aviation (AAvn) in Townsville, with the 5th Aviation Regiment, and at the Army Avia- tion Training Centre (AAvnTC) at Oakey.
Chinooks for Army
Army’s involvement with the venerable Chinook helicopter stretches back to Au- gust 1990, shortly after the transfer of the
RAAF’s battlefield helicopters to its control. Under an arrangement with the US Gov- ernment, 11 ex-RAAF CH-47C Chinooks were returned to the US for refurbishment to CH-47D configuration and four heli- copters would be returned to Australia and the balance retained for service with the US Army in Hawaii. In Australian service the Chinook fleet has been – and continues to be – operated by C Squadron/5 Aviation
Regiment (5 AVN REGT) at Townsville. Two further CH-47Ds were purchased in June 1998, increasing the numbers to six and the first in a series of rotational deployments to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) began in February 2003. The fleet was upgraded in 2007 un- der Project Air 9000 Phase 5A, which re- placed engines and upgraded drive trains with components then being installed on
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