Home' Navy News : March 29th 2012 Contents 05
March 29, 2012
NAVY'S Agusta Westland A109E
helicopters retired in style on March
9 when they made a spectacular final
landing at HMAS Albatross after a
formation flight over Canberra, the
outskirts of Sydney and Jervis Bay.
In a final tribute, three 723 SQN
aircraft taxied through an arch of water
provided by two of HMAS Albatross'
Among those waiting on the
tarmac to farewell the Agusta
were Commander Fleet Air Arm
CDRE Peter Laver and 723 SQN
Commanding Officer CMDR Matthew
The Agusta 109s first entered RAN
Service in June 2007 and the aircraft
were both provided and maintained by
During this time the aircraft flew
more than 6000 hours and qualified
more than 60 aircrew.
WHEN ABMT Gavin Addison saw an
unattended toddler perilously close to
speeding cars on a busy Sydney high-
way, he acted quickly.
The sailor from Fleet Support Unit
-- Sydney was on a bus travelling from
HMAS Kuttabul to his girlfriend's
house on March 13 when he saw the
toddler wandering just metres from
oncoming cars and trucks on the
"At first I thought I was seeing
things," ABMT Addison said.
"I didn't see any parents or anyone
so I decided to do something to prevent
the toddler from coming to harm."
ABMT Addison, jumped off the
bus and ran to the toddler's assistance,
scooping her up just a metre from the
Not long after, the frantic mother
arrived on the scene to embrace the
ABMT Addison found out the
toddler had wandered through an open
gate in the backyard.
"As you can imagine the parents
were very concerned about the welfare
of their child," he said.
News of ABMT Addison's good
deed spread after his girlfriend posted
it on the internet, which generated a
number of media interview requests.
The helicopters were part of
Navy's Retention and Motivation
Initiative, which aims to provide
development opportunities for junior
pilots, aviation warfare officers and
aircrewmen awaiting operational fly-
ing training on Seahawk and MRH90
CMDR Shand said the develop-
ment opportunities the Agusta pro-
vided was invaluable.
"The A109 presented a fantas-
tic opportunity for naval aircrew to
gain experience in an advanced twin
engine aircraft prior to commencing
operational flying training in either
the Sea King, Seahawk or MRH90
helicopters," CMDR Shand said.
The A109Es also provided vital
support in Defence community
assistance operations, including the
2009 Victoria bushfires and 2011
Queensland flood relief and were
a regular feature at open days, air
shows, schools and community events
The Agusta will be replaced by
three Bell 429 helicopters, the first of
which arrived in March and undergo
testing before entering in service with
723 SQN in May.
Officer in Charge RMI LCDR Tim
Kerridge said the 429 would offer
junior pilots the exciting opportunity
to fly the most modern helicopters
in Australia, but while the 429s were
state of the art, they could not quite
match the Agusta's flair.
"The Agusta are a lovely looking
aircraft," he said.
"When you see them out there in
flight, you can tell they were designed
by Italians because they simply exude
go out in style
HOME FOR GOOD: Two of the helicopters fly over Jervis Bay during
their final flight; top, the watery tribute from the base's fire trucks at
Photos: LSIS Yuri Ramsey and ABIS Hayley Clarke
Quick thinking saves
toddler from harm
ABMT Addison's decisive action
earned him praise from his supervisor
and peers at FSU-Sydney, who said
his decisive action probably saved the
"It's simple -- be the best that you
can be," he said.
ABMT Addison said people
shouldn't be afraid to get involved
or respond to crisis in order to avert
"The Navy teaches you to answer a
myriad of new and exciting challenges
each day which is an important life skill
that will serve me well all my life," he
SEEING IS BELIEVING: ABMT
HOME FOR GOOD: Two of the helicopters fly over Jer vis Bay during
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