29 May 2014
On 29 May 2014 from around 2:30pm, four Sikorsky S-70A-9 Blackhawks flew repeated runs to and from the State Government offices at Dumas House, West Perth (near Kings Park) as part of a month-long counterterrorism exercise.
The Blackhawks operated in groups of 2-4 with a pair hovering over the building for a minute or so before flying away, then returning every 5-10 minutes.
A total of six Sikorsky S-70A-9 Blackhawk helicopters from the Australian Army’s 171st Aviation Squadron, 6th Aviation Regiment, have been operating in the Perth area for the counter terrorism training exercise, which runs from 5 May – 5 June 2014.
The Army had publicised the exercise in advance, including letter drops in affected suburbs, to warn residents of the noise. The first missions were in the Perth CBD and coastal suburbs, including Swanbourne and Cottesloe near the SAS’ Campbell Barracks, before they moved to Bindoon for the final missions. Most Blackhawk flight operations occurred in the afternoon, but some took place late at night or in the early morning, often at low altitudes, allowing the crews to practice using night-vision goggles in a city environment.
Blackhawks previously visited Perth to provide security for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2011.
The six Blackhawks involved in the counter-terrorism exercise are:
- A25-110 (MSN 70-1146) named ‘Apocalypse’
- A25-202 (MSN 70-1299) named ‘Vengaeance’
- A25-210 (MSN 70-1348) named ‘Dragoon’
- A25-214 (MSN 70-1382) named ‘Tempest’
- A25-219 (MSN 70-1410) named ‘Harlequin’
- A25-223 (MSN 70-1432) named ‘Patriot’