Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Oakey Training Gets Chopped; Helicopter Pilots Move to Nowra but MP Insists Personnel Loss Will Be Short Term

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Oakey Training Gets Chopped; Helicopter Pilots Move to Nowra but MP Insists Personnel Loss Will Be Short Term

Article excerpt

BASIC helicopter training will be pulled from the Oakey Army Aviation Training Centre and relocated to Nowra.

The move, announced by the Federal Government yesterday, is expected to create 380 short-term and more than 80 long-term jobs at Nowra by 2018.

The Department of Defence could not confirm how many of those would be relocated from Oakey.

Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane said the move was "simply a result of necessity".

It will allow for pilots to be trained to land on a ship at sea.

"The introduction of Australia's landing helicopter dock ships into our fleet means that all defence helicopter pilots will need to be trained to land on a ship at sea," Mr Macfarlane said.

"Access to the existing navy facilities and training areas at Nowra will best prepare our future aviators for the challenges of flying both over land but also at sea ... that's an aspect impossible to achieve at Oakey."

Mr Macfarlane admitted there would be a short-term loss of numbers at Oakey. …

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