They initially flew in from Townsville on Monday 16 October before returning North on Thursday 19 October and finally returning to Camp Growl on Friday 20 October. On each occasion, the three MRH-90s, which are believed to be flown by 'A Squadron' of the 5th Aviation Regiment based at Townsville, were heard to use the radio callsign of "Apocalypse".
Meanwhile, as mentioned below, also currently based within the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in a support role during the Exercise, is Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue (SAR) Bell 412EP helicopter VH-VAA. It is owned by Lloyd Helicopters and operated by CHC Helicopters Australia for the RAAF and has been noted using the RAAF Support radio callsign of "Choppa 82".
Of interest, Exercise Diamond Run is the largest military exercise of the year for the Army's 7th Brigade. It will be the first time the Combat Brigade live fires its new M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks, which it received in September, marking the realisation of the Australian Army’s Plan Beersheba.
The exercise will also see 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment put through its paces on its road to becoming the Australian Army’s Ready Battle Group for short notice operations next year.
Exercise Diamond Run involves over 1600 soldiers from 7th Brigade and supporting units as well as 40 personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces who are taking part in bilateral training with the Brigade.
Photo taken by Kayanne Hardsman ©