Friday, October 14, 2022

A Combined Military and Regional Emergency Services Exercise at Rockhampton Brings Australian Army Leonardo AW139 Helicopters VH-YBF and VH-YBG to Rockhampton Airport

On Friday 14 October, a joint Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Regional Emergency Services joint training exercise saw a pair of Australian Army marked Leonardo S.P.A. (Agusta) AW139 Helicopters VH-YBF and VH-YBG arrive into Rockhampton Airport from Townsville.

VH-YBF was heard using the radio callsign of "Warhorse 209" while VH-YBG flew as "Warhorse 231".  VH-YBG "Warhorse 231" later flew to the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) and back to Rockhampton Airport.

The three-day multi-agency exercise - named 'Exercise Rocky Ready' - will help ensure that in an emergency event, personnel have the processes, practice and support necessary to mobilise an effective and coordinated response during an emergency event.

The practice scenario is reportedly around a Tropical Cyclone and flood event, which is precisely the kind of event the region is all too familiar with.

And on Sunday 16 October, a community demonstration day designed to give a glimpse into the equipment and skills used to assist the community during a disaster will be held from 10am at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.  Personnel from the Australian Army’s 11th Brigade will take part in a high risk weather season training exercise with support from the Army AW139 helicopters and Bushmaster vehicles.

Of interest, both VH-YBF and VH-YBG are registered to Helicorp (Toll Group) and are two of three AW139 helicopters that have been leased to the Australian Army's 5th Aviation Regiment based at Townsville. They have been provided to the Army to provide a similar capability to the NH Industries MRH-90 so pilots can keep up their hours.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Scott H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by Scott Harris  ©

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