723 Squadron RAN

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723 Squadron RAN
RAN-IFR 2013 D3 131.JPG
Royal Australian Navy Bell 429 of 723 Squadron
Active 1952–present
Country Australia Australia
Role Training
Battle honours Vietnam 1967–71
Kuwait 1991
East Timor 1999

723 Squadron is a Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm squadron. The squadron was first raised in 1952 and throughout its history has served operationally during the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and in East Timor. It currently operates as a helicopter training squadron and is based at HMAS Albatross at Nowra, New South Wales.


723 Squadron was first commissioned into the RAN on 7 April 1952 and was equipped with one Dakota, one Wirraway, one Sea Otter and two Sea Fury aircraft. During the Vietnam War, personnel from the squadron operated as part of the Experimental Military Unit, a joint Australian-American helicopter assault and transport unit.[1]

During the squadron's history, the battle honours "Vietnam 1967–71", "Kuwait 1991", and "East Timor 1999" have been earned.[2][3]

Current roles[edit]

723 is currently active as a helicopter training squadron equipped with 13 Aerospatiale AS 350BA Ecureuil (Squirrel) and three Bell 429 helicopters. The Squadron is based at HMAS Albatross (NAS Nowra). The Squirrels are used for conversion training all pilots, observers and aircrew from fixed wing to rotary wing aircraft. The Bell 429 joined the Squadron in 2012 on lease from Raytheon Australia and are used for multi engine training for pilots moving onto other aircraft such as the S-70B-2 Seahawk.


A 723 Squadron Squirrel in 2008
A 723 Squadron Hawker Siddeley HS 748
A Bell Kiowa of 723 Squadron in 1998




  1. ^ Australian Naval Aviation Museum (ANAM) (1998). Flying Stations: a story of Australian naval aviation. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. pp. 179–81. ISBN 1-86448-846-8. OCLC 39290180. 
  2. ^ "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours" (PDF). Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Raytheon Australia's Retention and Motivation Initiative Acceptance Activities Commence" (PDF). Media Release. Raytheon Australia. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012. Raytheon Australia today announced the beginning of acceptance activities of its first Bell 429 helicopters to be utilised under the Royal Australian Navy’s Retention and Motivation Initiative 2 (RMI 2) Program ... 
  5. ^ Article from The Australian newspaper online, retrieved 2007-08-30.

External links[edit]