They departed as two spectacular flights of four and then two helicopters in quick succession from Rockhampton Airport back direct to their base at Oakey. They were heard to use the radio callsigns of "Celtic / Concorde Combined".
As mentioned, the Chinook helicopters are flown by the RSAF's 127 Helicopter Squadron which is based at the Sembawang Air Base (SBAB) in Singapore, however as mentioned, with a detachment at Oakey.
The squadron goes by the motto of 'Strength, Courage, Swiftness', the motto is supported by the squadron motif, a white horse in full battle armour.
The recently delivered new CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook helicopters made their second visit to Rocky for Exercise Wallaby and were identified wearing the serial numbers 88167, 88168, 88169, 88171, 88162 and 88161, which are six of ten which were delivered to the Oakey Army Aviation Centre in recent years. 16 CH-47F helicopters will progressively replace the RSAF’s older Chinooks - including CH-47D and CH-47SD models - some of which have been in operation since 1994.
The CH-47F features a fully integrated, digital cockpit management system. It is also equipped with advanced capabilities that enable efficient cargo handling.
The CH-47Fs are part of a broader update to RSAF rotorcraft capabilities. In March last year, it took delivery of the first of Airbus Helicopters H225M to replace the AS332 Super Puma. Both the H225M and CH-47F were ordered in 2016.
Meanwhile, as shown, over the latter part of the week, the four RSAF Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters have had their blades and other components removed in preparation for freighting out of Rockhampton Airport - most likely by road once again to a port for shipping back to Singapore.
Sincere thanks to the local plane spotter 'IAD' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!
All photos taken by 'IAD' ©