Notching up 1000 hours of flying time in an MH60R Seahawk helicopter has capped off a successful Regional Presence Deployment for Leading Seaman Aircrewman Curtis Maxwell.
He said highlights were being part of the aircrew that fired two Hellfire missiles at Exercise Rim of the Pacific in Hawaii, and hunting a submarine during a training exercise with the Singapore Navy at Exercise Singaroo in waters off Singapore.
“It was probably the hardest combined anti-submarine exercise I have ever been involved in as the submarine we were hunting was a good adversary,” Leading Seaman Maxwell said.
“It was also the flight that I ticked over my 1000th flying hour.”
The RAN conducted the deployment through South-East Asia and the Pacific from July to October with HMA Ships Canberra, Hobart, Arunta, Stuart and Sirius.
The deployment demonstrated Australia’s commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific and to sustaining strong and positive defence relationships with regional nations.
Leading Seaman Maxwell was part of Flight Eight, the aviation team embarked with MH-60R callsign ‘Trickshot’ in HMAS Hobart.
His supervisor, Lieutenant Commander Sidney Raper, said aircrewmen, such as Leading Seaman Maxwell, provided an invaluable warfighting capability to an aircraft and the ship they support.
“The MH-60R extends the capabilities of any warship it is embarked on, particularly during anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare,” he said.
“Leading Seaman Maxwell has provided a notable contribution throughout this deployment and throughout his time in Hobart, both in the aircraft and on board the ship.”
Like many in the ADF, it has been a busy year for Leading Seaman Maxwell.
First assisting with Operation Bushfire Assist and then deployed on Regional Presence Deployment, he has spent six of the past nine months away from home.
He said the job was worth the sacrifices and long hours at work, however, he could not do it without the support of his wife and children.
“Flying as an aircrewman in the MH-60R Seahawk is hands down the best job in the Navy. No flight is the same,” Leading Seaman Maxwell said.
“Also, coming home to my family and spending quality time doing things together that we love - they have always strongly supported me throughout my career.
“I would tell anyone thinking of joining as an aircrewman to be prepared to work hard and put in effort while under training. You’ll be rewarded by becoming part of the integral airborne fighting capability of the Navy and proudly wearing a set of aircrewman wings each day.”