Australia's Chinook helicopters, crews return from Afghanistan

13:35, October 24, 2010      

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Two Australian CH-47 Chinook helicopters, their crew members and support team on Sunday returned from Afghanistan after an eight-month deployment.

The two Chinooks, operating from the main coalition base at Kandahar in south Afghanistan, chalked up 860 sorties, transported more than 4,700 troops.

The helicopters also moved in excess of 691,000 kilograms of supplies and equipment, during 737 hours of flying assisting the efforts of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

According to task group commander Lieutenant Colonel David Lynch, the effort of the team was highly commendable.

"On just about all the missions we flew this year supporting our coalition partners, our crews were fulfilling the role of air mission commander, taking the lead and providing direction to the other coalition aircraft involved in the missions," he said in a statement.

"A major contribution to the rotary wing group's sustained high performance was the role played by the maintenance crews who were responsible for keeping the Chooks in the air."

Australian Defense Force said the personnel will now take a break for Christmas time, and the helicopters will undergo maintenance.

The group and two Chinooks will head back to Afghanistan early next year to resume flight operations in support of ISAF operations.

Source: Xinhua


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