Australia — Rotary Wing Group completes seasonal rotation in Afghanistan

After pro­vid­ing excep­tion­al ser­vice in Afghanistan over the past eight months, sol­diers from Australia’s cur­rent Rotary Wing Group rota­tion have returned home for a well earned break and manda­to­ry main­te­nance on their air­craft.

The task group and their two CH-47 Chi­nooks will return to Afghanistan ear­ly in the new year to recom­mence flight oper­a­tions in sup­port of ISAF efforts – a deploy­ment they have under­tak­en since rota­tions began in 2006. 

Liv­ing up to their rep­u­ta­tion as work­hors­es, the two Chi­nooks chalked up an impres­sive 860 sor­ties, trans­port­ed more than 4700 troops and moved in excess of 691,000 kilo­grams of sup­plies and equip­ment dur­ing 737 hours of fly­ing assist­ing the efforts of the Inter­na­tion­al Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Assis­tance Force (ISAF) dur­ing the rotation. 

Task Group Com­man­der, Lieu­tenant Colonel (LTCOL) David Lynch said the effort of the team was high­ly commendable. 

“On just about all the mis­sions we flew this year sup­port­ing our coali­tion part­ners; our crews were ful­fill­ing the role of Air Mis­sion Com­man­der, tak­ing the lead and pro­vid­ing direc­tion to the oth­er Coali­tion air­craft involved in the mis­sions,” LTCOL Lynch said. 

A major con­tri­bu­tion to the Rotary Wing Group’s sus­tained high per­for­mance was the role played by the main­te­nance crews who were respon­si­ble for keep­ing the “Chooks” in the air. 

“A key mis­sion require­ment for the Task Group was to ensure that the CH-47’s were mis­sion ready when­ev­er they were required,” LTCOL Lynch said. 

“This year, we did not fail on a sin­gle occa­sion to pro­vide sup­port when we were assigned to a mission. 

“This mag­nif­i­cent effort by the main­tain­ers to keep our air­craft reli­able and avail­able through out our deploy­ment peri­od has under­pinned our suc­cess this year.” 

Main­te­nance crews stripped the Rotary Wing Groups “dou­ble deck­er bus” sized heli­copters and packed them into a pair of Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force C‑17 Globe­mas­ter III air­craft for the return trip to Australia. 

The Rotary Wing Group is an Aus­tralian Defence Force Avi­a­tion Sup­port Asset deployed as part of Oper­a­tion SLIPPER, Australia’s mil­i­tary con­tri­bu­tion to the inter­na­tion­al cam­paigns against ter­ror­ism, mar­itime secu­ri­ty in the Mid­dle East Area of Oper­a­tions and coun­ter­ing pira­cy in the Gulf of Aden. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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