NUSQN 725 receives Advanced Weapons Training in Jacksonville

Published on LS Ben Wellard (author), LEUT Alex Hale (photographer)

Location(s): Jacksonville, Florida

Topic(s): MH-60R Seahawk, 725 Squadron

Leading Seaman Ben Wellard, Able Seaman Josh Beaven and Mr Patrick Walters (US NAVAIR Fleet Weapons Support Team), receive advanced weapons training on the AGM-114 Hellfire Missile. (photo: LEUT Alex Hale)
Leading Seaman Ben Wellard, Able Seaman Josh Beaven and Mr Patrick Walters (US NAVAIR Fleet Weapons Support Team), receive advanced weapons training on the AGM-114 Hellfire Missile.

Mr Brian Kirkwood (US Naval Undersea Warfare Systems) instructs 725 Squadron personnel LS Tyron Garrett, LS Ben Wellard and AB Vanessa Issom.

Mr Brian Kirkwood (US Naval Undersea Warfare Systems) instructs 725 Squadron personnel LS Tyron Garrett, LS Ben Wellard and AB Vanessa Issom.

Royal Australian Navy personnel posted to Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida with NUSQN 725 have recently been learning the ‘ins and outs’ of both the MK-54 Torpedo and the AGM-114 Hellfire Missile.

The 10 person team has spent two weeks covering all aspects of the latest in Air Launched Torpedoes (ALT) technology including banding and de-banding procedures and a further three days on the AGM-114 Hellfire Missile.

All members are successful graduates of the United States Navy MH-60R ordnance course, which teaches the handling and loading of the weapons along with maintenance, testing and troubleshooting for the MH-60R helicopter weapons systems and components.

Provided by US contractors, this training course specifically addresses deeper level maintenance including procedures on dismantling and inspecting certain parts of the weapons.

Leading Seaman Avionics Technician Avionics Tye Garrett was impressed with the training saying, “this training is a giant step ahead of what we were previously taught about the workings of a torpedo.”

After successful completion of the avionics course and the arrival of the RAN’s first two MH-60R helicopters in December 2013, NUSQN 725’s maintenance team will be ‘Romeo Ready’ to safely test and load all the primary weapons associated with the Fleet Air Arm’s new Naval Combat Helicopter.