Australian Navy MH-60R 'Romeo' helicopter crew Successfully launches
first Mk 54 torpedo
from Royal Australian Navy NUSQN 725 continue to build warfare skills
in the MH-60R 'Romeo' helicopter, taking full advantage of their US
based operations and deploying to the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation
Centre (AUTEC) in order to complete weapon firings and complex warfare
Royal Australian Navy MH-60R 'Romeo' helicoper loaded with two Mk 54
during firing trials in Florida, USA. Picture: RAN
Royal Australian Navy crews completed the intensive Helicopter Advanced
Readiness Program (HARP) alongside their US Navy counterparts as part
of the qualification process, whilst the maintenance teams finalised
their training in weapons loading prior to deploying to AUTEC.
Speaking about the deployment, Commanding Officer
of NUSQN 725, Commander David Frost, said the activity is the culmination
of a lot of hard work by members of the Defence Material Organisation
Phase 8 Project Team and the Royal Australian Navy's Fleet Air Arm.
“Although the main objective is to build warfare skills, it
also signals a new era for the Fleet Air Arm, demonstrating the capability
of this potent maritime combat helicopter.”
The HARP program covers all areas of MH-60R tactical flying, including
advanced ground school training addressing aircraft employment, sensor
utilisation, crew served weapons, surface and subsurface weapon employment
and applied tactics.
It also includes intensive simulator events in the areas of Anti Submarine
Warfare and Anti Surface Warfare.
Sensor Operator Leading Seaman Tom Clunie found the training invaluable,
and a great way to round off his Operational Flying Training at HSM
“The HARP training program has rapidly expanded my knowledge
and capability within the MH-60R,” Leading Seaman Clunie said.
The training was provided by staff of the US Navy Weapons School located
at Naval Station Mayport, and was effectively an applied Mission Readiness
Evaluation for aviation assets.
HARP training is a pre-requisite for all US Navy crews prior to commencing
a deployment, assuring the requisite level of capability in the specialised
areas of warfare the MH-60R aircrew will be expected to operate in.