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Army November 12, 2009
By Cpl Jane Ashby-Cliffe
SEVEN Kiowas graced Darwin's
skies for the last time when they
marked the end of an era on
Soldiers of 1 Avn Regt lined the
tarmac to farewell their workhorse
of 38 years before the Kiowas took
off with an escort of four ARH
Commander 1 Bde Brig
Michael Krause was a passenger
for the final flight and transmitted
the following message: "All call-
signs Griffin, this is Predator Nine.
Outstanding! It's been a real privi-
lege to fly with you today, a great
reminder to me of the regiment's
past and a wonderful glimpse into
the regiment's future. Stay bold!
Brig Krause said the Kiowa
had been fundamental not only
to Army Aviation's capability but
had been linked closely to 1 Bde
and was a great old friend.
"Although it is sad to see the
Kiowa go it is wonderful to see
its replacement, the ARH Tiger,
which is a phenomenal aircraft
and brings fantastic capability,"
Kiowa pilot Maj Fern
Thompson said it had been an
honour to have "shared flying the
Kiowa with the combat aviators
of the past and a privilege to fly
over the current combat aviators of
1 Avn Regt".
"The presence of the ARH
escort really drove home the final
Kiowas' final salute
farewell and provided everyone
with a window view to the future
of Army aviation that lies with the
ARH," she said.
Twenty-seven Kiowas will
remain in service with the Army
Aviation Training Centre at Oakey,
Queensland and 173 Avn Sqn in
The Kiowa will continue to
serve as the training platform
for future combat aviators until
it is replaced by a new training
helicopter under Project Air 9000
between 2014 and 2016.
Kiowas have operated in the
Northern Territory since the early
1970s and have been based in
Darwin since November 1994.
They were deployed to Timor
from September 1999 to June
2003 and again from May 2006 to
Blade parade: An ARH Tiger escorts a Kiowa as it departs 1 Avn Regt (left), while soldiers parading
the unit's guidon salute during the fly past of Kiowas and Tigers (above).
Photos by LS Helen Frank
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