Reliable and Flexible – MRH90 proving indispensable on TS15
24 July 2015
The MRH90 on board HMAS Choules from 808 SQN, has again demonstrated how reliable and flexible the helicopter has become, during exercise Talisman Sabre 2015.
Commanding officer HMAS Choules, Commander Chris Aulmann said that the primary role of the 808 SQN MRH90 was to operate as a utility helicopter providing logistical support, in both a ship to ship, and ship to shore environment.
"Initially assigned a range of people, mail and cargo tasks by the Air Operations Cell on USS Bonhomme Richard, the role of the MRH90 grew to supporting front line operations, including the re-supply of rations and water to soldiers ashore.
This was a great vote of confidence in the aircraft and team of 18 who make up Flight 1 onboard Choules," said CMDR Aulmann.
During TS15, the MRH90 also completed a record number of cross deck landings on US ships including to Bonhomme Richard, Green Bay, Ashland and Preble.</p
Flight Commander, Flight 1, Lieutenant Commander Steve Brown said that with the interoperability focus of TS15, it was vital that the ADF had the capacity to transport personnel to various ships throughout the exercise.
"As an extremely complex exercise with many moving parts, it was essential to the success of the Combined Expeditionary Force assault, that US and Australian planners were able co-ordinate and de-conflict both aviation and amphibious craft movements.
The best way to do this was often by face to face meetings, which is why we were called upon to fly to so many different USN ships" said LCDR Brown.
A highly capable and versatile successor for the Black Hawk, the MRH90 has an endurance of greater than three hours, and a cruising speed in excess of 140 knots, the MRH90 is capable of carrying 10 fully equipped soldiers or 19 passengers in air-conditioned comfort, thereby reducing flying fatigue.
"The greatest advantage of the MRH90 is its advanced safety features. For example it's fitted with flotation devices which automatically inflate if forced to land on water, thereby giving a greater chance for the occupants to escape the aircraft safely" said LCDR Brown.
LCDR Brown said that participating in TS15 had been an invaluable experience for the members of Flight 1, as it gave the opportunity to put practice into reality.
"As a result of our successful operations over the past few weeks, I am looking forward to the MRH90 making an even bigger contribution to the next Talisman Sabre in 2017", he said.