The 5th Aviation Regiment was formed at Townsville, Queensland on 20 November 1987 to operate the S-70A-9 Black Hawk and UH-1 Iroquois helicopters which had previously been operated by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) following the decision to transfer these assets to the Australian Army.
In 1989 No. 9 Squadron RAAF became the Regiment's 'A' Squadron and No. 35 Squadron RAAF became 'B' Squadron. 'B' Squadron was later re-equipped with Blackhawks.
The Regiment was expanded in 1995 when 'C' Squadron was formed to operate CH-47 Chinook and UH-1 Iroquois helicopters (the later in the aerial fire support role). These Iroquois helicopters were transferred to the 1st Aviation Regiment in 1998.
In late 2003 'A' Squadron and the UH-1 equipped 171st Squadron swapped designations, with the former 'A' Squadron becoming an independent squadron supporting Special Operations Command.
'A' Squadron subsequently re-equipped with 12 MRH-90 medium helicopters and 'B' Squadron will also be equipped with these aircraft by 2015.
The 5th Aviation Regiment currently consists of:
• Headquarters Squadron
• A Squadron (MRH-90)
• B Squadron (S-70A Blackhawk)
• C Squadron (CH-47 Chinook)
• Technical Support Squadron
• Logistic Support Squadron
Since its formation elements of the Regiment have made operational deployments to Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Iraq, Indonesia and Pakistan.
A detachment of two CH-47 Chinook helicopters from the Regiment where deployed to Afghanistan between late March 2006 and April 2007.
Eight Blackhawks were deployed to East Timor in May 2006 as part of Operation Astute.
Three Blackhawks helped distribute aid to victims of flooding in Oro Province, Papua New Guinea in late 2007 as part of Operation Papua New Guinea Assist.
In early 2008 two Chinooks were deployed with Rotary Wing Group 1 and than again with Rotary Wing Group 2 in June 2008 as part of Operation Slipper where they took part in combat operations. These operations are ongoing.