The International Stabilisation Force (ISF) operates three S70 Blackhawk helicopters in East Timor. These aircraft provide an aero-medical evacuation arid troop transport capability to the ISF and the United Nations.
Black Hawks fly out of Dili, Photo gallery, Department of Defence website, Operation Astute, 12 February 2009.
“There are three Black Hawk helicopters deployed to East Timor as part of Operation ASTUTE. The East Timor Aviation Group comprises of about 70 personnel including technical support staff, logistic staff, headquarters and operations staff and an emergency response cell. The Aviation Group provides a logistic and airmobile response capability for the operation.”
“An Australian Army Black Hawk helicopter sustained damage to its tail shaft during the conduct of a night flying training mission in East Timor on Monday, 9 Feb 2009. No one was injured as a result of the incident but the tail shaft was badly damaged. The helicopter was landing at its International Stabilisation Force (ISF) base at Dili Airport when the incident occurred. The aircraft was operating in good weather conditions at the time of the incident. The reason for the heavy landing is not yet known but is currently under investigation.”
Commentary and analysis
Military exercises in East Timor under fire, Phillip Dorling, Canberra Times, 9 July 2008.
“The Australian Defence Force has begun a series of controversial exercises in East Timor involving Black Hawk helicopters firing live machine-gun rounds. Advertisements warning of the exercises appeared in East Timorese newspapers last week. Australian Black Hawk and New Zealand Iroquois helicopters attached to the International Stabilisation Force in East Timor are training in the Fatin Tiru firing area off the north coast. East Timorese non-government organisations expressed concern yesterday about the exercises.”