Minister for Defence - Commissioning of 725 Squadron - HMAS Albatross, Nowra

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The Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Minister for Defence

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11 June 2015

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I am very pleased to be here at the commissioning of Navy’s helicopter training squadron for the MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’.

The commissioning of 725 Squadron here at the Naval Air Station HMAS Albatross, Nowra, is an important milestone for Navy and marks the formal induction of the Squadron and aircraft into the fleet.

These maritime combat helicopters are the next generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopter.

This is a significant increase in technology and capability for Navy and the helicopters are equipped with a sophisticated sensor suite, torpedoes and air-to-surface missiles.

The Seahawk Romeo helicopter’s multi-mission and multi-target precision strike capabilities will increase the Navy’s versatility and potency as a high-end fighting force.

Some $3.2 billion dollars has been invested in procuring 24 Seahawk Romeo helicopters for Navy.

Eleven aircraft have been accepted into service to date, with the delivery running on budget and ahead of schedule.

The Commissioning of 725 Squadron is an important historical occasion for Navy and marks the formal induction of the Squadron and aircraft into the fleet.

Today’s commissioning is a terrific achievement that has involved the hard work of many people over many years.

725 Squadron has a long and proud military history since initial formation in 1943.

This is the fourth time the Squadron has formed, having first commenced anti-submarine training in 1959.

In December 2012 it was announced that 725 Squadron would be recommissioned as the new training Squadron and that 816 Squadron would provide operational support for the Romeo aircraft.

NUSQN 725 was officially stood up on 11 February 2013 and the first two Seahawk Romeo helicopters were formally accepted into Royal Australian Navy service in January 2014.

Over the last year NUSQN 725 has worked steadily to increase its operational skills.

Both 725 Squadron personnel and the aircraft have undergone extensive training and trials to ensure they are ready for service.

The Seahawk Romeo helicopters have already been involved in First of Class Flight trials in HMAS Perth and the aircraft are on track to achieve an Initial Operating Capability at sea in August this year.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all those involved in with the MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’.

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