723 marks end of decade with busy and rewarding year

Published on LCDR Helen Ward (author)

Topic(s): Training, 723 Squadron, Charities, Fundraising & Community

Members of 723 Squadron pictured with families affected by cancer at a static aircraft display at Lake Crackenback Resort, NSW. (photo: )
Members of 723 Squadron pictured with families affected by cancer at a static aircraft display at Lake Crackenback Resort, NSW.

This was a busy year for 723 Squadron and the Joint Helicopter School, with the Squadron’s rate of effort increasing significantly throughout the year.

Two courses have graduated so far this year, with a further two commencing their training, marking the first time concurrent courses have been run at the school.

In addition to training events, the Squadron has seen a considerable increase in secondary tasks and has commenced flying instructor training at the 723 Squadron Instructor Training Wing.

723 Squadron has begun using the EC-135 to support Squadron secondary tasks previously conducted by the Bell 429, which were retired earlier this year.

Many of these tasks are crewed by graduate aircrew in order to further their professional development prior to operational conversion and include VIP transport, ADF training support, public events of significance and Defence Assistance to the Civil Community tasks.

On a recent task, 723 Squadron detached one aircraft to at Lake Crackenback Resort to provide a static aircraft display for families that have recently been affected by cancer.

The family day coincided with The Snowy Ride, a motorcycle charity event that raises vital funds for the Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation.

The day afforded families a relaxing time away in a comfortable environment surrounded by other families who have shared similar experiences. 

“The opportunity to engage with the community and provide an insight into the training capability the Squadron provides, while supporting young children and their families affected by cancer, was very rewarding,” Detachment Commander Lieutenant Rhiannon Thompson said. 

Pilot Trainee Lieutenant Ryan Kerr and Leading Seaman Aircrewman Sean Coxell also commented that their flight over The Snowy Ride the following day, from Lake Crackenback to Thredbo, was “spectacular.”