723 Squadron took part in three major events on the first weekend of March, including the Chief of Defence Force Parade at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, and the Centenary of Military Aviation at RAAF Base Williams.
The CDF Parade at ADFA was especially significant this year, as it marked the final formal Australian Defence Force parade to be reviewed by the outgoing Governor General, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce. Part of this parade included a flypast of ADF rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. A multi-helicopter flypast was led by the Army, with support from the Royal Australian Navy, including three AS350BA Squirrels from 723 Squadron, one MRH-90 from 808 Squadron and one S-70B-2 Seahawk from 816 Squadron.
The Clipsal 500 V8 Supercars event in Adelaide is considered Australia’s largest domestic motor sport event. Eleven personnel and one Squirrel helicopter from 723 Squadron were sent to the event to provide a static display. The Detachment Commander, Lieutenant Dickenson, was overwhelmed by the public interest shown toward the Fleet Air Arm.
“It was a great chance for us to engage the public face-to-face and really get people interested in what we do at the Squadron. I’m sure we got a lot of kids thinking about starting some adventurous careers in naval aviation,” LEUT Dickenson said.
The Centenary of Military Aviation 2014 was a national event which celebrated 100 years of Australian military aviation. It included flying and static displays from the Royal Australian Navy, the Army and the Royal Australian Air Force. 723 Squadron provided Squirrel helicopters for a Pairs Taipans Display Team, showcasing the Squirrel’s manoeuvrability and the high level of aircrew training. 723 Squadron also provided Bell 429 helicopters for static displays, VIP transfers and Victoria Police taskings.