The first Australians have complete their initial MH-60R Romeo qualifications, marking a milestone in the AIR 9000 Phase 8 Project.
Members of the Integrated Test Team (ITT) LCDR Simon Lam, LCDR Joshua Carey and LEUT Timothy Clerke form the MH-60R test team embedded into the DMO to support the introduction of the MH-60R. Lam and Carey recently completed their MH-60R NATOPS Evaluations with HSM 40 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Mayport, Florida.
The pair began their training with other aircrew from NUSQN 725 in early March. After a significantly compressed nine weeks of accelerated study, computer based learning, simulators and flights they completed their final evaluation on May 15. This now means they are the first Australians qualified on MH-60R as part of AIR 9000 Phase 8.
The team will now absorb the aircraft’s mission and weapon systems before relocating to Patuxent River in Maryland, the heartland of the US Navy’s Test community. They will join USN Test Squadron HX 21 to support testing of the Australian configured MH-60R, with the unified aim to deliver the first Australian aircraft in December this year.
Their NATOPS achievement is a significant milestone in the ultimate delivery of the MH-60R back to Australia and will go a long way to ensuring there is an integral systems and airframe knowledge at a flight test level embedded in the RAN.