Navy submarine-hunting and anti-surface warfare helicopters have successfully completed Exercise Tigerfish, proving the warfighting proficiency of aircrews from 816SQN.
MH-60R Seahawks from the Nowra-based squadron dropped recoverable exercise torpedoes and fired precision air-to-ground missiles and rockets at various surface and sub-surface training targets off the eastern coast, in order to practice, develop and demonstrate their ability to employ weapons systems against realistic targets.
The two-week exercise held at the end of June was the culmination of a collaborative effort by units of the Fleet Air Arm and supporting agencies.
Flight Commander 816SQN Flight 1 LCDR Matthew Hudson said the importance of the exercise to advancing aircrew skills could not be overstated.
“The success of Tigerfish has been crucial in furthering the MH-60R capability and increasing the lethality of our operational aircrews,” LCDR Hudson said.
“For participating aircrew, the exercise provided a valuable opportunity to hone complex skills obtained in aircraft simulators with live weapons and real-world environments.”
Aviation Warfare Officer LEUT Eliza Josey said it was beneficial to put her synthetic training in simulators to use with real-world ordnance.
“The training benefit we receive from firing live weapons is invaluable and the opportunity to employ multiple weapons gives a crew the ability to enhance their skill sets and tactical appreciation for how we would actually fight,” LEUT Josey said.
For 816SQN maintenance teams, exercising the procedures for loading live ordnance helps ensure effective training to support aircraft entering potential conflict.
Maintenance manager PO Matthew Cooney said the exercise gave his team a chance to increase familiarity with the complexities surrounding live weapon loading procedures.
“Participating in Exercise Tigerfish enables us as maintainers to refresh and put into practice the skills we have been taught,” he said.
Images: Navy News