Boeing Chinook CH-47F Helicopter
The Australian Defence Force has operated Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters almost continuously since 1974. Over the years, thirty of the type compromising twelve CH-47Cs, eight CH-47Ds and ten CH-47Fs have served first with the the Australian Royal Air Force (RAAF) and later with the Australian Army when the latter took over the rule.
Australia was the first export country to purchase the Chinook when an order was placed for 12 CH-47C Chinooks in 1970. The CH-47s entered serviced with the RAAF in December 1974. The eleven surviving Chinooks were retired in 1989 as a cost-saving measure, but it was found that the Australian Defence Force's other helicopters could not replace their capabilities. As a result, four of the CH-47Cs were upgraded to CH-47D standard, and returned to service in 1995 with the Australian Army. The Army acquired two more CH-47Ds in 2000 and another pair in 2012. The CH-47Ds were replaced with seven new CH-47F aircraft during 2015, and another three CH-47Fs were delivered in 2016.
The Chinooks have mainly been used to support the Australian Army, though they have performed a wide range of other tasks. Three Chinooks took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, when they transported supplies and Australian Special Forces. A detachment of two Chinooks was also sent to Afghanistan during the northern spring and summer months for each year between 2006 and 2007 and 2008 to 2013, seeing extensive combat. Two of the CH-47s deployed to Afghanistan were lost as a result of crashes. The helicopters have also served domestically in Australia and neighboring countries, frequently used to assist in recover efforts following natural disasters.
Campaign: #A15-307, 5th Aviation Regiment, 15th Aviation Brigade, Royal Australian Air Force
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