25 September 2023

Army helicopter flies into history

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The 50th anniversary of the Australian Army Aviation Corps has been marked with a ceremonial parade, flypast and a variety of displays at the Army Aviation Training Centre, in Oakey, Queensland.

Simultaneous flypasts were also held in Sydney, Townsville and Darwin.

Head of the Corps, Brigadier Scott Benbow said he was proud to join past and present personnel to mark the 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.

He said the Corps flew a variety of capabilities, including the Tiger armed reconnaissance, Chinook medium lift and Taipan multi-role helicopters.

The anniversary commemorations also marked the final flight and retirement of the Army’s Bell 206B-1 Kiowa helicopter (pictured) after almost 47 years of service.

“Kiowa has been Army’s primary training helicopter since 1990, and every pilot, ground-crew member and maintainer who has served since that time has one thing in common – the 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.”

He said all personnel, past and present, who had operated, maintained and supported the Kiowa could be proud of the part they had played in the Army’s history.

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