Amphibious capability tested at sea series
The deployment of an amphibious aviation combat team, including aircrew, technical and logistic support elements, made their initial deck landings on the ship. HMAS Canberra was headed for the exercise area off Cowley Beach Training Area.
They adopted a crawl, walk, run methodology that culminated with the inaugural airmobile operation from HMAS Canberra on 6 September in the training area. The activity was designed to form, test and certify aviation amphibious capability growth focussed on low tempo day/night operations for MRH crews and support elements increasing to aviation combat team level capabilities that tested integration with whole-ship activities.
As part of the work-up period, Aviation Combat Team DESTRIER conducted approach techniques, deck landings, hot and cold refuel training and multiple spot formation departure and recoveries to HMAS Canberra.
The successful conduct can be largely attributed to the close working relationship developed between Aviation Combat Team DESTRIER, the Captain and crew of HMAS Canberra, the Ships Aviation Department and the embarked 808 Squadron detachment.
With the pre-conditions set through extensive planning and rehearsal, Aviation Combat Team DESTRIER, with ground forces from the Amphibious Ready Element (ARE) will prove their ability to conduct day and night amphibious airmobile operations and will be ready to commence Exercise SEA RAIDER. Successful completion of Sea Raider will mean that the ARE is certified to undertake humanitarian aid and disaster relief and non-combatant evacuation operations in a permissive environment.
The term DESTRIER is Anglo-Norman, dating to around the 12th Century, for a warhorse or battle horse.