The Australian Defense Ministry has unveiled the establishment of an Army Aviation Command that will improve and streamline the service’s air operations.
The announcement was made by Army Chief Lieutenant General Rick Burr at a ceremonial helicopter flyover parade in Blamy Square, Canberra on 2 December.
Lt Gen Burr said the formation of the Army Aviation Command was a significant achievement for the Australian Army and the Australian Defense Force.
“Aligning the Army’s aviation capability under its command makes Army aviation better adapted to support ground, amphibious and special operations,” Lt Gen Burr said. “The command will improve flexibility and adaptability and ensure that the Army’s training system is agile and contemporary.”
Led by Brigadier General Stephen Jobson, the Army Aviation Command would provide aviation capability to support the Army’s ground power to enable the combined force.
“Aviation Command will coordinate the introduction into service of new helicopters and unmanned aerial systems, and improve and ensure the safety, efficiency and stability of existing aircraft,” Major General Jobson said. “Changes in the Army’s aviation command and control structure will simplify the management of Army helicopters – one of the most versatile and resource-intensive platforms used by ground forces.”
The Army’s aviation capability provides aviation reconnaissance, firepower support, air raid and battlefield support and surveillance in mixed, joint and inter-agency environments.
The Australian Army operates a wide variety of aircraft, including the Boeing CH-47F Chinook, Eurocopter Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter, NH Industries MRH90 Taipan multi-role helicopter, and leased civilian light utility helicopter.