Commander Australian Fleet gets first hand view of future aviation force

Published on LEUT Mark Flowerdew (author)

Location(s): Jacksonville, USA

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

Commander Australian Fleet, RADM Tim Barrett and two members of the Airworthiness Board meet with 725 Squadron personnel undergoing training for the new MH-60R helicopters in Jacksonville, Florida.   (photo: Unknown)
Commander Australian Fleet, RADM Tim Barrett and two members of the Airworthiness Board meet with 725 Squadron personnel undergoing training for the new MH-60R helicopters in Jacksonville, Florida.

The maturity of the MH-60R training and support systems was showcased to Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett and two members of the Airworthiness Board (AwB) during a recent two day visit to Jacksonville, Florida.

NUSQN 725, under the command of Commander David Frost, was keen to demonstrate its readiness and strategy and outline its strategy to grow the MH-60R capability as it prepares to undergo the AwB process.

Responsible for the operational airworthiness of aviation systems in the RAN, including the MH-60R, Rear Admiral Barrett and the AwB members witnessed a tactical mission flown by an all Australian crew in the MH-60R simulator. The mission, combining surface and sub surface threats, showcased the employment of Link 16, Hellfire and the powerful Airborne Low Frequency Sonar (ALFS).

Commander Frost said the Squadron was pleased to be able to show that NUSQN 725 is Romeo Ready.

“The squadron has been training hard with the Unites States Navy over the past 12 months. The members of the AwB left impressed with the progress that NUSQN 725 has made,” said Commander Frost.

Whilst visiting NUSQN 725’s home at the Naval Air Station, Rear Admiral Barrett, addressed a Clear Lower Deck where he briefed squadron members on Navy priorities and the International Fleet Review (IFR).

“Although NUSQN 725 was physically removed from the events in Australia during the IFR, squadron members were still making a valuable contribution and should be very proud of our efforts.”

“The work being conducted by everyone involved in the establishment of the MH-60R capability is instrumental in establishing the footprint for the Fleet Air Arm, and Navy’s future capability over the next 30 years.”

After making some presentations to personnel, Rear Admiral Barrett was presented with a Jacksonville Jaguars National Football League (NFL) Jersey by Commander Frost.

NUSQN 725 will receive the first two of twenty four MH-60R helicopters in December 2013. During 2014, NUSQN 725’s aircraft numbers will increase to seven, with the first of the aircraft scheduled to arrive in Australia in December 2014.

During a clear lower deck, Commander Australian Fleet, RADM Tim Barrett is presented with a Jacksonville Jaguars National Football League jersey by Commanding Officer 725 Squadron, CMDR David Frost.

During a clear lower deck, Commander Australian Fleet, RADM Tim Barrett is presented with a Jacksonville Jaguars National Football League jersey by Commanding Officer 725 Squadron, CMDR David Frost.