February 20, 2020
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Navy Aviation Base Tour


G’day. I’m Lieutenant Welsh from 723
Squadron, and I’m a junior pilot with the Royal
Australian Navy. I’m Lieutenant Helen Anderson,
and I’m a Seahawk observer at 816 Squadron. Welcome. We’re here today at HMAS
Albatross, which is home of the Fleet Air Arm of the
Royal Australian Navy. This is where all the Navy’s
helicopters and aviation facilities are based. A lot of people think the Navy
is just about ships. But in actual fact, quite
a large portion of it is about aviation. And this is where
it’s all based. In addition to the wonderful
aviation facilities, we’ve got great gyms, sporting grounds,
swimming pools, messes– places where you can relax
and socialise at the end of a hard day. But when we’re not doing
recreation using those facilities, we work in
this building here. This is home to both 723
and 816 Squadron. This is 816 Squadron, home of
the Royal Australian Navy 16 Seahawk helicopters. The role of the Seahawk within
the Navy is primarily anti-submarine warfare. So this is where we train and
practise to hunt submarines. Downstairs here at the Squadron
is where all the maintainers live. So that’s where the hangar is,
where the aircraft get fixed and repaired. And upstairs is where all
the air crew work. Up there, we have the briefing
rooms, the operations department, as well as the
office spaces where we work when we’re not flying. This is the 816 Squadron hangar,
where we house all of the Navy Seahawk helicopters. As you can see behind me, we
have one large hangar, as well as five smaller off
to the side. There’s various workstations,
desks, and workshops, and this is where the maintainers work
to coordinate the repair and maintenance of all the
Seahawk helicopters. There’s also the large roller
doors beside me, which is where the aircraft get driven
out before being put on the tarmac, ready for the air
crew to go and strap in. So basically, this is the
storage area for where all the aircraft get parked overnight,
and this is where they also get repaired. This is 723 Squadron,
home of the Taipans. The role of our Squadron is to
train all junior pilots, air crewmen, and observers, and also
to provide fleet support. Downstairs is where all
the maintainers work. And in this hangar facility here
is where we conduct major servicings, and also day
to day maintenance. We house the aircraft
in this hangar. And the big doors that you can
see over to the side are where we pull the aircraft in and
out for flying operations. Upstairs is where all the
air crew work out of. And that’s where we plan our
missions, whether it be training, fleet support, or some
sort of light utility. In addition to the main hangar
building, we also have nine hangarettes, which are attached
to the side, which is where we do some of the more
major servicings and where the A109s operate out of. At 723 Squadron, we have
a total of 13 Squirrel helicopters, which are used
for basic training for the pilots, observers,
and air crewmen. And we also use them for
training such as flight deck procedure trainers, and also
to teach crews on the ships how to operate with helicopters,
in addition to light utility support,
as well. We also have the
A109 aircraft. There’s three of them. And they’re used for
continuation training, and things like Defence Force
recruiting events, and public relations events.

Tony wyaad

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