Navy emergency team ready to respond

A Royal Australian Navy MRH90 helicopter being moved from the hangar to the flight deck onboard HMAS Canberra during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019. Photo: Able Seaman Leo Baumgartner

Navy emergency team ready to respond

HMAS Canberra’s aviation support team showed its specialised skills during a simulated crash-on-deck exercise.

From the moment the alarm sounds, the team is ready for one of the toughest events on a ship at sea: an emergency landing of a helicopter or a crash on deck.  

The team on board Canberra conducts this training regularly to maintain readiness, integrate new team members and enhance team work.

For the exercise, the team wore anti-flash protective gear and were poised to act. When the simulated helicopter hit the deck, the team launched and took about 90 seconds to put the fire out, secure the aircraft and recover survivors.

Lieutenant Commander Tony Hammond, Canberra’s officer in charge of flying, highlighted the importance of this work.

“Unlike other first responders, my crew’s responsibility is to the whole of Canberra. They are the primary team that ensures that any fire from the downed aircraft doesn’t extend to the rest of the ship,” Lieutenant Commander Hammond said.

During Talisman Sabre 2019, a range of helicopters will use Canberra to launch during the amphibious operation phase.

Canberra can accommodate up to six helicopters on the flight deck at any time. These helicopters include the MRH90 Taipan, the MH-60R, CH-47 Chinooks and even the United States’ large MV-22 Ospreys.

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