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June 6, 2013 www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS
AFTER nine weeks of acceler-
ated study in Florida, the first
Australians are now qualified on the
MH-60R naval combat helicopter.
LCDRs Simon Lam and
Joshua Carey, together with LEUT
Timothy Clerke, form the MH-60R
test team embedded into DMO
to support the introduction of the
The two LCDRs recently com-
pleted their MH-60R Naval Air
Training and Operating Procedures
Standardisation (NATOPS) program
with Helicopter Maritime Strike
Squadron 40, based at Naval Station
The pair started their train-
ing with other aircrew from
NUSQN725 in early March and
after a steep learning curve of com-
puter-based learning, simulators and
flights, they completed their final
NATOPS evaluation on May 15.
Both LCDR Lam and LCDR
Carey have a S-70B-2 (Bravo) flight
test background and agree that,
while a derivative of the Seahawk
family, the Romeo is a far cry from
LCDR Lam said the highlight of
training had been exposure to the
modern digital cockpit and the new
advanced mission systems focused
on the battle space.
“New systems such as data
fusion, ISAR radar and Link 16
will enhance aircrew and ultimately
the operations room’s situational
awareness,” he said.
“Significantly, the re-introduc-
tion of the dipping sonar to anti-
submarine warfare operations will
provide a new and improved capa-
bility to the RAN.”
The highlight of training for
LCDR Carey has been the interac-
tion with US Navy flying instruc-
tors and the opportunity to work
with them during flying training.
“Every single US instructor was
100 per cent invested in achieving
our aim of being qualified,” LCDR
“As always, I was impressed
with the professionalism, dedica-
tion and pure aviation skill that I
witnessed throughout my training.”
Both students were impressed
at the rate their training progressed.
They had up to four simulator or
flight events scheduled a week.
This was because the squadron’s
training program operated seven
days a week, which meant they
were able to provide up to 20 train-
ing flights a day.
Even with NATOPS behind
them, the learning doesn’t stop.
The team will soon relocate to
Patuxent River in Maryland, south
of Washington DC and the heart-
land of the US Navy’s test com-
They will join USN test squad-
ron HX 21 to support testing of the
Australian configured MH-60R,
with the unified aim of deliver-
ing the first Australian aircraft in
December this year.
Our first qualify to fly
FIRST IN LINE: LCDR Joshua Carey and LCDR Simon Lam stand in front of a US Navy MH-60R.
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