Sea Platforms

Australia proves out aviation training vessel’s disaster relief capabilities

24 January 2020

MV Sycamore working with HMAS Choules during Operation 'Bushfire Assist'. Source: Commonwealth of Australia

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is proving out the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) capabilities of its aviation training vessel, MV Sycamore , during its deployment with Operation 'Bushfire Assist'.

The operation is the Australian Defence Force's (ADF's) contribution to the government's ongoing bushfire-related rescue-and-recovery operations across the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

The Damen-built civilian registered Sycamore is normally utilised by the RAN as a platform to train its personnel in helicopter-related operations including deck landings and take-offs, helicopter in-flight refuelling (HIFR), and air traffic control.

But the 94 m ship is also equipped for secondary tasks such as torpedo and mine recovery operations, navigation training, dive support, and target towing, and has a large storage capacity suitable for providing HADR assistance.

Sycamore has thus far helped to evacuate more than 1,400 civilians from Mallacoota, Victoria while working with the RAN's Bay-class amphibious landing ship HMAS Choules , according to information published by the RAN's Navy Daily on 24 January.

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