725 Squadron RAN

725 Squadron is a naval aviation squadron of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Fleet Air Arm. The squadron was originally created in August 1943 as part of the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. It initially served as a fleet requirements unit, was rerolled in August 1945 as a target towing unit, then was disbanded in December 1945. In January 1958, the squadron was re-formed, as a fleet requirements and communications unit of the RAN, operating a variety of fixed-wing aircraft. The squadron was redesignated as an anti-submarine warfare training squadron in May 1959, then was decommissioned in May 1961 and absorbed into 724 Squadron. 725 Squadron was recommissioned in November 1962 as an operational anti-submarine helicopter squadron, flying the Westland Wessex. During this commission, the squadron was involved in HMAS Sydney's troop transport voyages, the rescue of personnel following the Melbourne-Voyager collision, and the Operation Navy Help Darwin relief effort post-Cyclone Tracy. The squadron was decommissioned in December 1975. 725 Squadron was commissioned for the fourth time in June 2015, this time as a training unit for MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopters: the squadron had been reactivated two years prior as a non-commissioned unit train on and accept into service the Romeos.

725 Squadron
Crest 725sqn
725 Squadron badge
Active1943–1945
1958–1961
1962–1975
2015–present
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Australia Australia
BranchRoyal Navy (1943–1945)
Royal Australian Navy (1958–present)
Part ofFleet Air Arm
Garrison/HQHMAS Albatross
Battle honoursVietnam 1967
Aircraft flown
HelicopterMH-60R Seahawk Romeo

History

725 Squadron was formed on 27 August 1943 as a fleet requirements unit of the Royal Navy. It became an air target towing squadron in August 1945 and was disbanded in December of that year.[1]

725 Squadron was re-formed as a Royal Australian Navy fleet requirements and communications unit at HMAS Albatross on 13 January 1958. The squadron was initially equipped with C47 Dakota, Auster Autocar, Hawker Sea Fury, Fairey Firefly and Fairey Gannet aircraft and added De Havilland Sea Venoms shortly afterwards.[1] The squadron was redesignated an anti-submarine training squadron in May 1959,[2] and suffered its only fatality in December of that year when a Gannet crashed while landing at HMAS Albatross.[1] The squadron's duties during this period included providing aircraft for air direction officer training, radar calibration and target towing as well as conducting simulated attacks on RAN warships during exercises.[1] These duties continued until 31 May 1961 when 725 Squadron was disbanded and absorbed into 724 Squadron.[1]

First two RAN MH-60Rs before delivery
The RAN's first two MH-60Rs at NAS Jacksonville shortly before being formally delivered in December 2013

725 Squadron was reformed as an operational anti-submarine squadron equipped with Westland Wessex helicopters on 1 November 1962.[2] In this role the squadron regularly deployed four Wessex helicopters on HMAS Sydney to provide the troop transport with anti-submarine cover during her many transport voyages to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.[2] The squadron also participated in the search and rescue efforts which followed the collision between HMA Ships Melbourne and Voyager in February 1964.[1] Helicopters from the squadron also took part in Operation Navy Help Darwin, the relief effort after Cyclone Tracy destroyed much of Darwin in December 1974.[3] 725 Squadron was disbanded at HMAS Albatross on 27 December 1975.[2]

On 13 December 2012 the Australian Government announced that 725 Squadron will be re-raised as a training unit operating MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopters. In this role it will train aircrew for subsequent service with 816 Squadron.[4] The squadron was reformed on 11 February 2013 in a non-commissioned capability, and spent the next two years based at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida, while personnel were trained on the new helicopters.[5][6] The first two Romeos were delivered to the squadron on 12 December 2013.[6] In December 2014, the squadron was relocated to naval air station HMAS Albatross.[5][6] 725 Squadron was recommissioned into the RAN at Albatross on 11 June 2015.[6][7]

Battle honours

725 Squadron was awarded the battle honour "Vietnam 1967" for its service during the Vietnam War.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "725 Squadron". Royal Australian Navy. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d Eather, Steve (1995). Flying Squadrons of the Australian Defence Force. Canberra: Aerospace Publications. p. 134. ISBN 1-875671-15-3.
  3. ^ "Disaster Relief – Cyclone Tracy and Tasman Bridge". Semaaphore, Issue 14. Sea Power Centre Australia. 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  4. ^ Clare, Jason. "Joint Media Release – Capability Update – Air Projects". Minister of Defence Material. Department of Defence. Archived from the original on 8 March 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Milestone moments in MH60R training". Navy News. 15 August 2013. p. 10.
  6. ^ a b c d Tufrey, Jayson (18 June 2015). "Fleet welcomes squadron". Navy News. Royal Australian Navy. p. 3. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  7. ^ Rahmat, Ridzwan. "RAN commissions training squadron for MH-60R helicopters". IHS Jane's 360. IHS Jane's Navy International. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
Auster Autocar

The Auster J/5 Autocar was a late 1940s British single-engined four-seat high-wing touring monoplane built by Auster Aircraft Limited at Rearsby, Leicestershire.

Auster J family

The Auster J series was a family of British light civil utility aircraft developed in the 1940s and 50s by Auster at Rearsby, Leicestershire.

Fairey Firefly

The Fairey Firefly was a Second World War-era carrier-borne fighter aircraft and anti-submarine aircraft principally operated by the Fleet Air Arm (FAA). It was developed and built by the British aircraft manufacturer Fairey Aviation Company.

Development of the Firefly can be traced back to pair of specifications issued by the British Air Ministry in 1938, calling for new naval fighter designs. Designed to the contemporary FAA concept of a two-seat fleet reconnaissance/fighter, the pilot and navigator/weapons officer were positioned at separate stations. In flight, the Firefly was superior in terms of both performance and firepower to its predecessor, the Fairey Fulmar. Due to a protracted development, the type only entered operational service towards the end of the conflict, at which point it was no longer competitive as a fighter. The limitations of a single engine in a relatively heavy airframe reduced its performance, but the Firefly proved to be fairly sturdy, long-ranged, and docile aircraft during carrier operations.

The Fairey Firefly served in the Second World War as a fleet fighter. During the post-war era, it was soon superseded in the fighter role by the arrival of more modern jet aircraft, thus the Firefly was adapted to perform in other roles, including strike operations and anti-submarine warfare. In these capacities, it remained a mainstay of the FAA until the mid-1950s. Both British and Australian Fireflies routinely performed ground–attack operations from various aircraft carriers during the Korean War. In foreign service, the type was in operation with the naval air arms of Australia, Canada, India and the Netherlands. As late as 1962, Dutch Fireflies were used to carry out attack sorties against Indonesian infiltrators in Dutch New Guinea. Its final uses was found in various secondary roles, such as trainers, target tugs and drone aircraft.

Fairey Gannet

The Fairey Gannet is a British carrier-borne aircraft of the post-Second World War era developed for the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm (FAA) by the Fairey Aviation Company. It was a mid-wing monoplane with a tricycle undercarriage and a crew of three, and a double turboprop engine driving two contra-rotating propellers.

The Gannet was originally developed to meet the FAA's dual-role anti-submarine warfare and strike requirement. It was later adapted for operations as an electronic countermeasures and carrier onboard delivery aircraft. The Gannet AEW.3 was a variant of the aircraft developed as a carrier-based airborne early warning platform.

HMAS Perth (FFH 157)

HMAS Perth (FFH 157) is an Anzac-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The last ship of the class to be completed, she was built by Tenix Defence Systems and commissioned into the RAN in 2006. In 2007, Perth became the first major warship of the RAN to be commanded by a woman. During 2010 and 2011, the frigate was used as the testbed for a major upgrade to the Anzac class' ability to defend themselves from anti-ship missiles.

List of Australian Fleet Air Arm flying squadrons

This is a list of Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm flying squadrons. The Fleet Air Arm was founded in 1947. Since then the Royal Australian Navy has formed a number of squadrons which have operated a range of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters from aircraft carriers, other warships, and shore establishments.

List of Fleet Air Arm aircraft squadrons

This is a list of Fleet Air Arm squadrons.

List of aircraft of the Royal Australian Navy

This is a list of aircraft of the Royal Australian Navy.

Taylorcraft Auster

The Taylorcraft Auster was a British military liaison and observation aircraft produced by the Taylorcraft Aeroplanes (England) Limited company during the Second World War.

Westland Wessex

The Westland Wessex was a British-built turbine-powered development of the Sikorsky H-34. It was developed and produced under licence by Westland Aircraft (later Westland Helicopters). One of the main changes from Sikorsky's H-34 was the replacement of the piston-engine powerplant with a turboshaft engine. Early models were powered by a single Napier Gazelle engine, while later builds used a pair of de Havilland Gnome engines.

The Wessex was initially produced for the Royal Navy (RN) and later for the Royal Air Force (RAF); a limited number of civilian aircraft were also produced, as well as some export sales. The Wessex operated as an anti-submarine warfare and utility helicopter; it is perhaps best recognised for its use as a search and rescue (SAR) helicopter. The type entered operational service in 1961, and had a service life in excess of 40 years before being retired in Britain.

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