A REQUEST was sent to the Royal Australian Navy asking permission for a Seahawk helicopter to make a short stop over in Laurieton. The request cames from the Laurieton RSL Sub Branch and the Navy approved.
The helicopters will be passing the area today between 1pm and 2pm as they return to HMAS Albatross Nowra from the Caloundra Anzac Day ceremony. The Seahawk will land at Vince Inmon sporting field.
On board will be former local lad Petty Officer Nathan Minett. Nathan grew up in Laurieton and has spent the last 18 years working in the Navy. His mother Kathy Ibbotson is the operations manager at the Laurieton United Services Club. She was particularly pleased that the request was granted and, in turn, will fulfill Nathan’s request for sandwiches on landing.
“Nathan has just returned from six months deployment overseas, so it will be a treat to see him again,” Kathy said.
Kathy also works closely with the Laurieton RSL members and is aware just how much the stopover will mean to them.
The Seahawk helicopters are based at 816 Squadron at HMAS Albatross. They have been involved in every major Navy operation over the last 20 years. This has included operations in the Middle East, East Timor, the Solomon Islands and more recently in support of anti-piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
The Seahawks have also been called on to assist with yacht rescues, bushfire support and major flood relief efforts.
The helicopters are equipped with a range of integrated sensors and weapons systems which makes the aircraft a vital element in Navy’s combat capability.
According to Laurieton RSL representative Kevin Bogg, the Sub Branch has a strong contingent of ex-Servicemen who will be thrilled at the opportunity to inspect the Seahawk helicopters.