On Tuesday 23 July, the awesome military action continued around Bowen and Bowen Airport following the previous day of activity which saw a series of complex amphibious activities completed around the town, all as a part of joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19).
At Bowen Airport, local plane spotter James K was at the right place at the right time to capture three great visiting aircraft, including one rare helicopter which has never been sighted in Central Queensland and possibly in Queensland!
He captured some great photos of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (Japanese Army) Kawasaki CH-47JA Chinook helicopter JG-2977 (Code HGPIV) of 104 Hikotai, loading and ferrying personnel from Bowen Airport back to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s tank landing ship JS Kunisaki (LST-4003).
As mentioned below, fellow Kawasaki CH-47JA Chinook helicopter JG-2984 (Code HGPIV) also of 104 Hikotai was also noted in the air the previous day.
James was also able to capture some great photos as United States Marine Corps (USMC) Bell Boeing MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft 168633 / EP-05 of the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (VMM-265) "Dragons" also departed Bowen Airport, presumably to return to the United States Navy ship USS Wasp (LHD-1).
Another Osprey, possibly the same one, was also heard to fly out of Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport and land at 'Camp Rocky' - the Australian Army Defence Support Unit (DSU) camp adjacent to Rockhampton Airport - before continuing to RAAF Base Amberley.
While on Monday 22 July, USMC MV-22B Osprey 168??? / EP-03 was spotted also at Camp Rocky after earlier 'diverting' with a technical problem while on a flight from Mackay Airport to Amberley.
Later, again on Tuesday 23 July, a pair of massive United States Marine Corps (USMC) Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters were also seen in the skies above Bowen, although at the time of writing, their identities remain unconfirmed.
Finally, James was also on hand to capture the arrival and then departure of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Alenia C-27J Spartan transport aircraft A34-005. It looked to complete at least one flight into Bowen Airport from and back to Rockhampton Airport as "Wallaby 20".
A34-005 "Wallaby 20" has been based at Rockhampton Airport in recent days, completing flights into the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) and Bowen Airport - see Blog posts below.
Of interest, it also appears that also on Tuesday 23 July, fellow C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter aircraft, A34-009 "Wallaby 17" and A34-010 "Wallaby 01" were also noted flying into other parts of CQ. A34-004 was heard flying from the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) to Canberra, while A34-010 looked to arrive into Rockhampton Airport from RAAF Base Amberley. A34-010 also visited Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport on Monday 22 July.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotter James K for taking the time capture and send through these great photos!
All photos taken by James Kirk ©