1st Aviation Regiment (Australia)

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1st Aviation Regiment
Australian Army (A38-017) Eurocopter EC-655 Tiger ARH departing Wagga Wagga Airport.jpg
An Australian Army Tiger ARH
Active 1966–Present
Country  Australia
Branch Army
Type Aviation
Role Attack Reconnaissance
Size Regiment
Part of 16th Aviation Brigade
Garrison/HQ Robertson Barracks, Darwin
Motto(s) Alert
Mascot(s) SGT Penny Alert (Peregrine Falcon)
Equipment Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter

The 1st Aviation Regiment is one of the Australian Army's three Army Aviation regiments and provides aerial reconnaissance and fire support to the Australian Army. The 1st Aviation Regiment, equipped with Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters, forms part of the 16th Aviation Brigade and is based at Gaza Lines, Robertson Barracks, Darwin.[1]

The Regiment was formed on 26 April 1966 as the 1st Division Army Aviation Regiment and was re-designated the 1st Aviation Regiment on 31 March 1967.[1][2] The Regiment had historically operated a mix of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.[2] In late 2004, the regiment was re-organised for its new role to operate the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH).[1]

As part of this restructure, 171st Operational Support Squadron and 173rd Surveillance Squadron were placed as direct command units of the 16th Aviation Brigade.[1]

During 2005 and 2006, the Regiment consolidated all of the remaining squadrons into one location for the first time, at Gaza Lines, in Darwin’s Robertson Barracks.

In 2012 after three incidents with cockpit fumes that endangered aircrew, pilots voted to not fly until all safety concerns were addressed.[3]

The 1st Aviation Regiment reached its final operating capability with the Tigers on 18 April 2016. This process took much longer than expected, due in part to the complexity of the helicopters and shortages of spare parts. The 2016 Defence White Paper stated that the Tigers would be retired early, and be replaced with different aircraft during the mid-2020s.[4]

Current organisation[edit]

The regiment is currently organised as follows:[1]

  • Regimental Headquarters
  • 161st Reconnaissance Squadron
  • 162nd Reconnaissance Squadron
  • Technical Support Squadron
  • Logistic Support Squadron

Civil Assistance and Operations[edit]

  • INTERFET,
  • Operations Stabilise/Warden,
  • UNTAET & Operation Tanager,
  • NSW Flood Assistance,
  • Operation Gold (Sydney Olympics),
  • UNMISET & Operation Citadel,
  • Operation Anode,
  • Operation Guardian II,
  • Operation Astute.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "1st Aviation Regiment". Australian Army. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "1 Aviation Regiment". Fourays – The Australian Army Aviation Association. Archived from the original on 13 July 2006. 
  3. ^ Army pilots stage mutiny over chopper fears December 5, 2015 The Australian Retrieved November 16, 2016
  4. ^ "Army's Tiger ARH achieves FOC". Australian Aviation. Retrieved 14 May 2016.