Friday, June 30, 2023

Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Australian Army Exercise Sea Explorer Hits Top Gear - Amphibious Beach Landing and More Helicopter Action Around Bowen

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is conducting the amphibious Exercise Sea Explorer along the coast of North Queensland.

As mentioned previously, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship HMAS Adelaide (III) (L01), along with the Bay-class landing ship HMAS Choules (L100), have been in waters off Bowen over the last week. They have been the launching points for various amphibious landing exercises on the Bowen foreshore, as well as multiple helicopter insertions of personnel and equipment.

Australian Army Boeing CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook helicopters have been spotted completing operations along with Bowen foreshore.  Chinooks A15-306 and A15-308 were photographed completing several flights last Friday 23 June.

While at the start of this week, A15-306 was again spotted, this time with A15-310 parked on the deck of the HMAS Adelaide as there seems to be a lull in activities.  Also spotted on the deck of the HMAS Adelaide was Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk 'Romeo' helicopter N48-015 (Code 915) which has also been spotted flying around the vicinity of Bowen and the nearby Whitsundays area.

Exercise Sea Explorer prepares the ADF's Amphibious Ready Unit for certification. The Australian Amphibious Force train closely with the Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Adelaide and HMAS Choules, as well as a beach landing force comprising of infantry, armoured vehicles, artillery, aviation and logistic elements optimised for amphibious raids and assaults.

Exercise Sea Explorer will run until early July and will be closely followed the next in the 'Sea' series of exercises, Sea Raider, which will also look to take place along the North Queensland coast including Bowen and The Whitsundays.

The Sea Series of exercises enhances joint interoperability of the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy’s amphibious capabilities.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter James K for capturing these great photos from Bowen!

All photos taken by James Kirk  ©

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