09 Juli 2010
ADF's Bell Iroquois (photo : Australian DoD)
Army Iroquois Choppers Become National Treasures
An Army squadron of 11 Iroquois helicopters will be transformed into local tourist attractions around Australia.
They'll be on display in Townsville and eight other communities.
Serving the nation since 1962, the UH-1H or "Huey", as they are affectionately known, first flew with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in Malaysia. However it was their use in the Vietnam War that gave them the iconic status they have today with their familiar silhouette and rotor sound.
"Townsville and the other locations selected have had an association with the Iroquois helicopter for a very long time. It's only fitting then that these helicopters come to rest among these communities," Minister for Defence Materiel and Science Greg Combet said.
"One Iroquois helicopter will be kept for permanent display outside Townsville's RAAF Base, where we expect it to attract military enthusiasts and other visitors."
Iroquois helicopters served Australia during the Vietnam War, on deployments to Bougainville and the Solomon Islands, and provided assistance to people who were affected by the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami in Indonesia, providing urgently needed aid to many isolated areas.
Iroquois helicopters will become tourist attractions at military bases right around Australia including Bandiana and Point Cook in Victoria; Darwin in the Northern Territory; Holsworthy in New South Wales; Oakey and Enoggera in Queensland, along with the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Another five Iroquois helicopters will be kept by the Australian Defence Force for training and another two will be offered for sale to national returned service organisations.