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Australia sets up new army aviation command

Australian ARH Tiger operations
Australian soldiers rearm ARH Tiger helicopters during Exercise Griffin Eagle in Arizona, USA. Photo: Australian Army

The Australian defense ministry has unveiled the establishment of an army aviation command that will improve and streamline the service’s air operations.

This was announced by the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, AO, DSC, MVO, in a ceremonial parade and helicopter flyover at Blamey Square, Canberra, on December 2.

Lieutenant General Burr said the formation of the Army Aviation Command was a significant achievement for the Australian Army and the Australian defense force.

“The alignment of army’s aviation capability under its own command optimizes army aviation to better support land, amphibious and special operations,” Lieutenant General Burr said.

“The command will improve resilience and adaptability and ensure the army’s training system is agile and contemporary.

“The command also represents the delivery of another key milestone set out in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan.”

Commanded by Major General Stephen Jobson, AM, CSC, Aviation Command will deliver aviation capability to support the army’s land power to enable the joint force.

“Aviation Command will coordinate the introduction into service of new helicopters and unmanned aerial systems, and enhance and assure the safety, effectiveness and sustainability of current aircraft,” Major General Jobson said.

“The changes to army’s aviation command and control structure will simplify the management of Army’s helicopters—one of the most multifaceted and resource-intensive platforms used by the land forces.”

As of today, 16th Aviation Brigade and the Army Aviation Training Centre will transfer from Army Forces Command to Aviation Command.

Army’s aviation capability provides aviation reconnaissance, firepower support, air assault, and battlefield support and surveillance, in combined, joint and interagency environments.

The Australian Army operates various types of aircraft including the Boeing CH-47F Chinook, Eurocopter Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter, NH Industries MRH90 Taipan multi-role helicopter and leased civil light utility helicopters.