With the latest iteration of the Singapore Armed Force’s Exercise Wallaby 2019 now in its final week or so, the various Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) helicopters and aircraft continue to complete daily sorties to and from the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) out of Rockhampton airport.
As the sun was setting on Wednesday 23 October
, local plane spotter Russell P was on hand to capture the departure of a pair of RSAF Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters from Rocky to Shoalwater Bay. They looked to be wearing the serials 062 and 063 and were heard to be using the radio callsign of "Astro".
As mentioned previously, all four Apache helicopters deployed to Rocky are flown by the RSAF's 120 Squadron "Kestrel" (also known as the "Red Hawks") based at Sembawang Air Base in Singapore. The Squadron is the first and oldest RSAF operational squadron in service, first formed in 1969. The squadron goes by the motto of "Strive To Achieve".
Also, late on Wednesday 23 October
, Russell photographed RSAF Aerospatiale / Eurocopter AS332M Super Puma helicopter '279' as it returned to Rockhampton Airport from a sortie to Shoalwater Bay and back, flying as "Ruby".
'279' was later joined by '271' with both making a departure later in the afternoon, also to Shoalwater Bay, but this time flying together as "Diamond".
Also as mentioned previously, all four Super Puma helicopters that have deployed to Rocky are reportedly flown by the RSAF's 126 Helicopter Squadron "Cougar" (126 SQN). Their motto is "Ready and Able", with the Cougar adopted as the squadron's motif.
Formed initially on 16 September 1992 at Sembawang Air Base in Singapore, the 126 SQN consisted of newly purchased Cougar helicopters, which were an upgraded version of the Super Puma helicopters then used by its sister squadron – 125 SQN. 126 Squadron was based at the Oakey Army Aviation Centre, supporting the Singapore Armed Force's training needs in Australia, however over the last year, the Squadron moved back to Singapore with Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopters now deployed to Oakey on a full-time basis.
And after deploying direct from their base at Oakey at the start of the Exercise, the RSAF Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopters have also been completing sorties to Shoalwater Bay and back to Rockhampton Airport as singles and in flights of two or more. Like most of these flights, on Wednesday 23 October
, 88181 was shown being prepared to depart later as "Celtic".
Also as mentioned previously, 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.
Finally, the RSAF Lockheed C-130H Hercules '734', which deployed into Rockhampton Airport around a fortnight ago, continues to complete 2-3 daily sorties to Shoalwater Bay and back to Rockhampton Airport as a part of the Exercise.
It was photographed below by local plane spotter Scott H on Thursday 24 October
as it departed on one of these sorties as "Rider 28".
And returning to Rockhampton Airport during the late afternoon on Friday 25 October
after completing another sortie again as "Rider 28".
Of interest, the Herc is one of six C-130H aircraft which are flown by the RSAF's 122 Squadron "Condors" based at the Paya Lebar Air Base (PLAB) in Singapore. The squadron goes by the motto of "Dependable".
Exercise Wallaby first started in 1990 in Rockhampton and is a Singapore Army exercise based within the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) as well as at Rockhampton Airport. This year will reportedly see as many as 4000 Singapore Armed Forces personnel participate in the Exercise.
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Sincere thanks to local photographer Russell P And plane spotter Scott H for taking the time capture and send through these great photos!
Photos taken by Russell Prothero and Scott Harris ©️