As mentioned below, these, and several other Chinook, Blackhawk and Apache helicopters, which headed North on Tuesday 18 July, are in Queensland to participate in joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 (TS23) and were shipped into the Gladstone Airport from the USA on board the United States Navy (USN) large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship (LMSR) USNS Bob Hope (T-AKR 300).
The three Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters were identified as 17-08226, 17-08225 and 16-08480, and looked to fly North from the Gladstone Port to Mackay Airport and then Townsville as "Army Copter 8480 Flt".
They join a fourth Chinook - 17-08232 - which flew North on Tuesday.
In all, three Boeing AH-64E Apache, seven Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk and four CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook helicopters were unloaded from the USNS Bob Hope at the Gladstone Port during the last few days. Their rotor blades were re-attached and some quick test flights were conducted before they started taking to the air on Tuesday morning to fly up to Mackay and Rockhampton Airports.
Research reveals these 13 helicopters are of the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State, USA.
The UH-60M Blackhawks are of the 2nd Battalion 158th Aviation Regiment 'Warhawks', while the HH-60M Blackhawks and CH-47 'Foxtrot' Chinook helicopters are of the 1st Battalion 52nd Aviation Regiment. The AH-64E Apaches are of the 1st Battalion 229th Aviation Regiment. Altogether, they have formed Task Force 'Griffin'.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotter 'JM' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!
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All photos taken by 'JM' ©