Monday, May 20, 2019

RAAF Search and Rescue (SAR) Bell 412EP Helicopter VH-VAB "Rescue 82" Starts Flying from Rockhampton Airport as Ex Southern Jackaroo Starts in Shoalwater Bay

On Monday 20 May, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue (SAR) Bell 412EP helicopter VH-VAB which arrived into Rockhampton Airport the previous day, took to air, reportedly commencing a support role for the joint Military Exercise Southern Jackaroo which kicked off in the nearby Shoalwater Bay Training Area also on Monday.

VH-VAB was again heard to be using the RAAF radio callsign of "Rescue 82" and completed a flight to The Glen Airfield within the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) and back before completing winching training back at Rockhampton Airport.

Meanwhile, over 300 United States Marines (Marine Rotational Force Darwin) members, around 150 Japan Ground Self-Defense Force troops and Australian Army 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment troops have reportedly kicked off war-games in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) this week as a part of Exercise Southern Jackaroo.

Finally, of interest, the Bell 412EP VH-VAB is owned by Lloyd Helicopters and operated by CHC Helicopters Australia and spent many years operating as Victorian Air Ambulance Helimed 1 HEMS 2 based at the Latrobe Valley Airport in Traralgon, Victoria.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Trevor H and Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by Trevor Hardsman and Kayanne Hardsman  ©️

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