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Leut-Cmdr Darren Mallet
TIMOR-Leste Aviation Group (TLAG)
pilots deployed on Operation Astute
refreshed their deck landing qualifica-
tions on October 12 with help from
USS Rushmore and USS Green Bay.
TLAG CO Maj Scott Doré said
the ships visited Dili for Exercise
Crocodillo between the East Timorese
military (F-FDTL) and US Marines.
Major Doré's pilots, from 5 Avn
Regt, have been in country for several
months and many have deployed on Op
The deck landing certification con-
sisted of two days and nights of flight
deck landing and lift-off manoeuvres.
USS Rushmore and USS Green Bay
flight deck members helped with signal-
ling, wheel chocks and refuelling.
"We have to practise at least every
six months," Maj Doré said.
"The qualifications and training went
really well, we integrated seamlessly
with the US ships from the first landing.
All TLAG aircrew were qualified within
a short time frame."
TLAG aircrew completed a number
of consecutive bounces -- landings, lift-
offs and circling -- during the training
It takes about 30 minutes for each
pilot to complete the deck-landing
Pilots practise deck landings with US ships
requirements, which must be duplicated
in the dark using night vision for a night
"This qualification is instrumental to
the development of Australia's amphibi-
"The pilots trained here over the past
few days will be among the first to land
on Australia's new Landing Helicopter
Docks from 2014," Maj Doré said.
Maintenance and operations staff
from TLAG also visited the USS
Peleliu, an LHD of similar dimensions
to the future HMAS Canberra. These
crews learnt about maintaining, han-
dling and communicating in the mari-
Coming in: Black Hawk 208 is signalled off by the flight deck marshaller during deck landing qualifications
on USS Rushmore off the coast of Dili. Inset: TLTG members Lt Daniel England, Lt Dean Orzanski, Cpl John
Wood, Maj Scott Doré, Lt Michael Perkins and Cpl Blake Camporeale participated in the training activity.
Photos by AB Lee-Anne Mack
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