As highlighted in our previous post, thirteen United States Army military helicopters were shipped to and offloaded at Gladstone earlier this week, and after satisfying stringent Customs / Quarantine inspections, and also being restored to flying condition after their journey across the Pacific Ocean, were to be relocated (flown) to Townsville for participation in Talisman Saber 2017.
As expected, the helicopters departed Gladstone on Friday 30 June, and lifted-off in two separate batches one hour apart.
Comprising four Boeing AH-64 Apache and two Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk choppers, 'batch one' departed at 10.00am bound for Townsville via a stop at Mackay to take onboard fuel.
One hour later at 11.00am, 'batch two' comprising of seven remaining UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters also departed Gladstone, however, made a stop at Rockhampton before continuing to Mackay where they re-joined their counterparts for the final leg to Townsville.
Of interest, we were able to learn while talking to US military personnel at Gladstone that the helicopters will undertake pre-exercise training with Australian and other US military assets for approximately one week in north Queensland before relocating to the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) near Rockhampton.
If by chance you missed our first post, here is the link gain :