2K a charm for Canberra helo operations

This article has photo gallery Published on LSIS Helen Frank (author and photographer)

Location(s): Koro Island, Fiji

Topic(s): Helicopters, HMAS Canberra (L02)

While on deployment in Fiji, 808 SQN celebrates the 2000th deck landing onboard HMAS Canberra #OpFijiAssist #HMASCanberra (photo: LSIS Helen Frank)
While on deployment in Fiji, 808 SQN celebrates the 2000th deck landing onboard HMAS Canberra #OpFijiAssist #HMASCanberra

Army aviation took the glory for the 1,000th deck landing on HMAS Canberra last year but when the 2,000th landing was reached, it was all Navy.
It was nine months after commissioning that Canberra reached 1,000 deck landings but only seven months on and the ship has doubled the mark.
 Commander Air, Commander Adrian Capner said it takes other ships in the Royal Australian Navy years to achieve 2,000 landings, but given Canberra's multi-spot capability the milestone has been reached quickly.
"It really is a testament to the utility of the ship and the versatility that the LHD can provide to operations," Commander Capner said.
The 2000th deck landing was achieved while Canberra was deployed operationally for the first time. The ship was called upon to support Operation Fiji Assist 2016, Australia's Whole of Government contribution to the international humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response after Tropical Cyclone Winston struck Fiji on 20 February.
 sailed from Brisbane in late February after embarking more than 350 Australian Defence Force personnel, 30 vehicles, 60 tonnes of emergency relief supplies and two additional MRH-90 helicopters.
Four Army MRH-90 helicopters from the 5th Aviation Regiment were also assigned to the operation and assisted in delivering humanitarian stores from the ship to the Fijian people.
"During the last phase of the operation, a considerable amount of stores were flown ashore, including timber and sheets of corrugated iron," Commander Capner said.
"Those were a busy few days and it was testament to the excellent teamwork in Canberra to see all the various departments come together to make it happen effectively."
Commander Capner remarked on the great relationship that exists between Navy and Army aviation and said he was looking forward to having the 5th Aviation Regiment back onboard for Exercise RIMPAC later in the year. Having said that he did also say there was a bit of friendly competition between the Navy and Army helicopters to claim the 2,000th landing.
"Our Army friends did try to squeeze in there and take the prize but they were defeated by some well placed misinformation relating to the number of landings we had achieved," he said.
"But good on them for trying."