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14 WORLD NEWS
Army November 12, 2009
ROTARY Wing Group 4's (RWG 4)
two Chinooks, crew and support per-
sonnel have finished their eight-month
tour of Afghanistan.
RWG 4 CO Lt-Col Karl Hamlyn said
the tasks that confronted the 60 members
of the group had been a test of character
During the deployment, the aircraft
and crew completed more than 780 fly-
ing hours, and lifted more than 7000
passengers and more than 453 tonnes of
One of the Chinooks was hit by
small-arms fire on August 3.
Despite the threat from the Taliban,
and extreme heat and dust, the aircraft
remained serviceable and operated at
Lt-Col Hamlyn said the benefit of
having a high level of flight readiness
could be best seen in the number of pas-
sengers, many of whom were coalition
forces, flown safely across Afghanistan.
"When put into context, that means
more than 7000 people haven't been
exposed to travelling by road and the
associated dangers of IEDs," he said.
Both Chinooks were partially dis-
mantled for the journey back to Australia
on RAAF C-17s.
After Afghanistan's winter, the two
helicopters will return to the country to
begin operations next March.
Successful tour for Chinooks
Alert: Cpl Brett Kukura and Sgt Dean Johnstone provide
security at a helicopter landing zone (left).
Photo by Cpl Ricky Fuller
Tie down: Part of a Chinook in a C-17 (above).
Photo by Sgt Rob Nyffenegger
MRTF 2 members have farewelled a
four-legged mate fatally injured in a
Nova, an explosive-detection dog,
died after the accident on October 23
while training with her handler at Camp
Holland in Oruzgan province.
Nova was taken to the base medi-
cal facility to receive further treatment,
but her injuries were too severe and she
was put down by the regimental medical
Base personnel later gathered with the
MRTF 2 chaplain for a small ceremony
before Nova was cremated.
Nova had recently been involved in
Operation Baz Panje, a Joint Afghan
National Army, Australian and coalition
operation to remove the threat posed by
the Taliban in the Mirabad Valley.
MRTF 2 CO Lt-Col Peter Connolly
said the death of Nova was keenly felt
by MRTF 2 personnel, particularly the
specialist dog handlers.
"Explosive-detection dogs are a
critical asset in our fight against IEDs.
The dogs save countless lives," Lt-Col
MRTF 2 hold
(above) for their
Photos by LCpl Joshua
New, Spr Rueben Griggs
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