Australia and Singapore cooperation on show

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Geoff Long (author), LSIS Nadav Harel (photographer), ABIS Sittichai Sakonpoonpol (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01), International Engagement

A Republic of Singapore Air Force CH-47 Chinook helicopter lands onboard HMAS Adelaide during Exercise SEA WADER 2020, off the coast of Townsville, Queensland. (photo: LSIS Nadav Harel)
A Republic of Singapore Air Force CH-47 Chinook helicopter lands onboard HMAS Adelaide during Exercise SEA WADER 2020, off the coast of Townsville, Queensland.

HMAS Adelaide has provided a platform for the Republic of Singapore Air Force CH-47 helicopter crews to qualify and land on the RAN’s largest vessels, HMA Ships Adelaide and Canberra.

The deck landing qualifications were conducted over two days off the coast of Queensland, where Adelaide is conducting a range of amphibious and aviation training exercises.

Commander Air HMAS Adelaide, Commander Leon Volz said the qualifications would provide significant benefits and boost overall combined capability for the Australian and Singapore Defence Forces.

“This is a great opportunity to provide interoperability between both the Singaporean Air Force air crew and ourselves,” Commander Volz said.

“Gaining these qualifications allows the RSAF crews to operate with Adelaide, with Canberra and also with HMAS Choules, which will provide a significant capability enhancer between both our Defence forces.

“So when we’re both operating in the region, for example, then we can actually cross-deck and gain more experience in the way that both Defence forces operate in the maritime aviation environment.”

The Singaporean CH-47 heavy-lift helicopter crews, which are permanently based at Oakey in Queensland, communicated with Adelaide’s flight control room and were guided by the ship’s aviation team on the flight deck.

The timing of the deck qualifications also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Singapore Armed Forces training in Australia.

Commanding Officer HMAS Adelaide, Captain Jonathan Ley said qualifying Singaporean Air Force personnel to operate their CH-47 aircraft on Navy’s amphibious vessels extended the shared history of cooperation between the two nations.

“Singapore’s CH-47 aircraft worked alongside Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment during the 2020 bushfire emergency in Victoria, so to have that combined capability at sea is an important element as we again move into the high-risk emergency season,” Captain Ley said.

Adelaide is the Navy’s high-readiness vessel and is available to support humanitarian and disaster relief operations domestically and in the region.