The Australian Army’s Darwin based 1st Aviation Regiment has relinquished the last of its Kiowa reconnaissance helicopters in favour of its new Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters (ARH).
“It changes the unit from a battlefield support role to a true combat role,” Regiment executive officer Major Brett Whitcombe told local media.
In a low key event, a formation of seven Kiowas – which have been based in Darwin since 1994 – performed a flyover of the city on October 26 escorted by a couple of Tigers which will be based at the Robertson Barracks.
Although they have been replaced by Tigers in the reconnaissance role, the Kiowas themselves will not be retired. Some will instead be transferred to training duties at Oakey, while others will be flown in a operational training/support role at Holsworthy, south of Sydney, by 173 Aviation Squadron – which is relinquishing its King Airs to the RAAF and relocating from Oakey to Holsworthy.