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Australian soldiers practise Abrams tank refuelling with Chinook helicopter

12th April 2023 - 16:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Soldiers conducted a tactical refuelling of three M1 Abrams tanks by a CH-47 Chinook at Townsville Field Training Area. (Photo: Austral MoD)

The Australian Army has demonstrated tactical refuelling of M1 Abrams tanks with the CH-47 Chinook helicopter the first time in five years.

The Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment (5 AVN) and 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2 CAV) recently executed a tactical refuelling of three M1 Abrams tanks using a CH-47 Chinook at the Townsville Field Training Area.

This marks the first time in five years that such an operation has taken place.

As part of exercise Eagle Walk, soldiers honed their fuelling procedures using a suitable method called a ‘fat cow.’

Major George Flannery of 2 CAV, officer commander of the tank squadron, emphasised the significance of the tanks on the battlefield as the most protected and lethal weapon system but also pointed out that they consume a lot of fuel.

Given that land refuelling assets, such as HX 77 trucks, are limited in their mobility and accessibility to rough terrains, it is essential for the CH-47 Chinook and tanks to work together, Major Flannery said. 

‘So with these capabilities working together, we know refuelling can occur anytime, anywhere,’ he added.

Major Flannery also stressed the criticality of such training in honing soldiering skills and preparing for upcoming warfighting exercises like Talisman Sabre.

The training gives Australian soldiers an opportunity to identify ways to execute such missions more efficiently and effectively in the future.

The Shephard News Team


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