Australian Defence Force’s CH-47 “Chinook” helicopters have returned to duty in Southern Afghanistan, providing medium lift transport capability to Australian and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) units.
The helicopters will be operated by Rotary Wing Group 7 (RWG 7). Commander of Australia’s Joint Task Force 633 in the Middle East, Major General Stuart Smith said the helicopters were a major addition to ISAF rotary wing capability in southern Afghanistan.
Embedded with the United States 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, RWG 7 will provide medium lift helicopter support to ISAF missions throughout Uruzgan, Daykundi, Kandahar and Zabul Provinces.
Commanding Officer of RWG 7, Lieutenant Colonel Scott Nicholls said the team was excited to be back on operations in support of Australian and ISAF troops.
“Rotary Wing Group 7 had an extensive preparation before deploying to Afghanistan, not only flying but also conducting simulation activities,” Lieutenant Colonel Nicholls said.
Traditionally, the two CH-47D helicopters are dismantled and transported back to Australian for deep level maintenance over the Afghan winter period. This past winter, the helicopters remained in Kandahar for scheduled deep level maintenance.
RWG 7 is made up of approximately 60 personnel primarily from the Townsville-based 5th Aviation Regiment and from across the ADF.