Defence’s aviation capability has been given a lift with the arrival of two CH-47F Chinooks at RAAF Base Townsville.

The medium-lift helicopters will join Army Aviation Command’s fleet of 12 Chinooks, which are operated by C Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment.

Commanding Officer 5th Aviation Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher McDougall, welcomed the additional Chinooks, which were delivered on June 23.

“We thank our United States counterparts, including the army and air force and its crew aboard the C-5 Galaxy aircraft, for safely delivering the two additional Chinooks,” Lieutenant Colonel McDougall said.

“The additional helicopters will provide Defence with additional lift capacity and strengthen Army’s ability to support operations globally.”

Last year, Defence announced the acquisition of four CH-47F Chinooks to join what was then a fleet of 10 aircraft at 5th Aviation Regiment. 

Two of the additional Chinooks were delivered in July last year.

According to Commander of Army Aviation Command, Major General Stephen Jobson, the latest additions to the fleet will strengthen Defence’s critical lift capability and enable Defence to meet the increasing demand for the Chinook capability. 

“Army Aviation Command is postured to oversee the introduction of new aviation capabilities and upgrades to our current capabilities, and this delivery reinforces that preparedness,” Major General Jobson said.

“By working closely with our ally, the United States, this rapid acquisition and delivery demonstrates our ability and commitment to be ready now.

“The Chinook is the ADF’s largest helicopter.

“It has been instrumental in recent missions, including Operation Bushfire Assist in 2019-20, Operation Tonga Assist in 2022 and Operation Queensland/New South Wales Flood Assist in 2022.”

The two additional Chinooks will be reassembled in Townsville and evaluated before being formally handed over to 5th Aviation Regiment for operational use.