MEDIA RELEASE – Army Kiowa Helicopters Deployed to Regional ANZAC Day Services

Regional ANZAC Day Fly-Past Coordinator Greg Barnes has confirmed that the Oakey Army Aviation Base will deploy two Bell B206 Kiowa Helicopters to compliment the Spitfire Fly-Past Salutes on ANZAC Day.

“Every year since the successful visit by the three Iroquois (Hueys) in 2007, I have been lobbying to have the helicopters return”, Mr. Barnes said.

“The Hueys have since been de-commissioned however the Kiowas which have been in service since the latter part of the Vietnam war will be familiar to a wide range of military personnel who have served over the past forty years”, he said.

This year, Member for Hinkler, Paul Neville made a direct request to the Hon Stephen Smith MP, Minister for Defence during a meeting in Western Australia.

“The Minister was very receptive to the fact that at least nine individual Services could be covered by the Kiowas in one deployment and as soon as the aircraft were released from flood duties, he authorised their participation in the Bundaberg Regional Services”, Mr. Neville said.

Mr. Barnes believes that the presence of the helicopters, together with the Spitfire will be a unique feature of this year’s regional Services and will pay a fitting tribute to those who paid the ultimate price for their country together with those who returned with physical and psychological traumas.

“Paul Neville has always been a great supporter of the ANZAC Day events and we certainly wouldn’t have been able to secure the Kiowas without his direct input”, he said .

“I have asked the crews of the Spitfire and Kiowas to utilise any free flying time between Services to circuit over various parts of the City and surrounding townships so that as many members of the community as possible get to see them”, he said.

“Unfortunately, due to other commitments, they will not be able to stay long enough to make the Burnett Heads Service however the Spitfire will certainly be attending”, he said.

The scheduled flight plans for all regional Services are as follows:

                                                 Spitfire                               Kiowas

Bargara                                    0605                                   0610

South Kolan                            0621                                   0624

Rosedale                                0633                                   0641

Bundaberg                              0900                                   0910

Gin Gin                                     0940                                  0945

Childers                                   1000                                  1010

Woodgate                                1020                                  1032

Elliott Heads                            1125                                  1130

Moore Park Beach                  1145                                  1150   

Burnett Heads                         1450                                    N/A

-ENDS-

Authorised by Greg Barnes
Regional ANZAC Day Fly-Past Coordinator
Coral Coast Chamber of Commerce & Tourism
Enquiries to Greg Barnes on 0407 155 727
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