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Cpl Max Bree
FOUR types of Army helicop-
ters were beating the sky over
Shoalwater Bay as part of Battle
Group Pegasus during Exercise
Talisman Saber 13.
Tigers, Black Hawks, Chinooks
and MRH-90s helped 3 Bde with
its manoeuvre and targeting opera-
tions over the training area.
Battle Group Pegasus CO
Lt-Col Dave Haufner said TS13
would help ensure the aviation ele-
ments could effectively integrate
with 3 Bde.
“We’ve participated in the
reconnaissance battle, the targeting
of the enemy, airmobile operations,
re-supply and simulated casualty
evacuation operations,” Lt-Col
He said some of new the chop-
pers were also finding their place
in the rest of the Army.
“We’re seeing the further inte-
gration of the Tiger capability and
its attack capabilities as well as the
understanding and employment of
the Tiger by the wider Army,” he
“We’re also seeing advances
into service of the MRH-90, which
will eventually replace the Black
RAINING down Hellfire missiles,
rockets and 30mm rounds on Kamarian
targets, the ARH Tigers of Battle Group
Pegasus may have been a little too effec-
tive on the battlefield at Shoalwater Bay.
Tiger pilot and troop commander
Capt Phill James said Ex Talisman Saber
13 could have finished early if umpires
had awarded all their hits on targets.
“If we went out and they gave us
100 per cent of the hits on targets we
said we got, then the enemy would have
been destroyed on July 25,” he said. “But
it’s not fair if we go out and take eve-
ryone off the map just because we have
“It’s been accepted that most enemy
targets that we have destroyed get
The seven Tigers based at Williamson
Airfield provided close air support and
armed recon to 3 Bde in the field.
“Most of our day missions would be
quick reaction force,” Capt James said.
“There are some deliberate missions by
“The Tiger is basically an intelli-
gence, surveillance and reconnaissance
platform and when targets of opportunity
present, we can engage those targets.”
A troop of Tigers is made up of three
aircraft with enough crew to fly four,
Capt James said. But on missions, Tigers
fly in pairs.
Capt James said the Tigers destroyed
a range of targets, including motorised
and mechanised defensive positions and
the opposing aircraft.
“We found the enemy airfield and
destroyed the enemy aircraft on the
ground,” he said.
The Tigers sustained only minor
“damage” from the opposing force.
Capt James said umpires reviewed
the Tiger’s camera footage and decided
if a kill should be awarded.
Rotors keep turning with
Cpl Max Bree
WITHOUT them, pilots are pedestrians
and Hellfire missiles are relegated to an
armoury or underground bunker.
The aircraft tradesmen from 1 Avn
Regt worked round-the-clock to keep
rotors turning on the Tiger helicopters
at Williamson Airfield.
Cfn Byron Milne was one of the 40
tradesmen fine-tuning the Tigers.
“A Black Hawk is like the Land
Rover of the fleet,” he said. “It can go
for thousands of kilometres without
needing an oil change.
“The Tiger is more like an F1 racing
car in that it needs lots of stuff done to
it after the race.”
But Cfn Hayden Bermicham
believed the main issue was getting his
head around the French manuals that
were translated into English.
“They’re pretty simple to work on,”
“They designed it well, so it’s sim-
ple, except for the ‘Frenglish’.”
Cfn Simon Jessep said two shifts of
tradies were needed to cover the Tiger’s
“All we do is work and sleep,” he
“We get up when it’s dark, we go to
sleep when it’s dark.”
The tradies on Ex Talisman Saber 13
were governed by aircraft safety rules
that dictated they must have at least
12 hours off after a 12-hour day, Cfn
Fine-tuning: Cfn Hayden Bermicham (left) and Cfn Rhys Johannessen take
the cover off a Tiger helicopter for pre-flight servicing at Williamson Airfield.
Photo by Cpl Max Bree
Army August 15, 2013
Hawk. We’re conducting some test
and evaluation for some of the role
About 500 personnel were part
of Battle Group Pegasus to support
the flying operations.
“Between its logistics support
and its maintenance organisations,
it can operate in an austere envi-
ronment without the reliance on
any other infrastructure,” Lt-Col
“Talisman Saber 13 really
allowed us to go out and test both
our tactical ability along with our
logistic planning and ensure we’re
effective at integrating with our
elements within Army.”
make light work
Battle Group Pegasus provides potent air power
Clean sweep for Tigers
All aboard: Aircrewman Sgt Daniel Carter conducts a safety brief for US Army personnel before a flight.
Photo by Cpl Bill Solomou
Line up: Black Hawks and MRH-90s from Battle Group Pegasus on
the flightline at Williamson Airfield.
Photo by Cpl Bill Solomou
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