Image Gallery 2010

12 March 2010
Bushmaster takes a ride

ONE of the world’s best Protected Mobility Vehicles (PMVs) was transported inside one of the world’s largest and strongest helicopters in southern Afghanistan this month.

The entire procedure was coordinated by the Combat Service Support Team (CSST) and the Rotary Wing Liaison Officer (RWLO) from Australia’s Special Operation Task Group (SOTG).

Despite the imposing size of the Bendigo-built Bushmaster PMV, it was driven easily out of the belly of the Russian Mi26 heavy transport helicopter at Tarin Kot after a short flight from a Forward Operating Base some distance away.

It was the first time a Bushmaster had been transported by the Russian behemoth with a 32 metre rotor diameter, adding another tick to the Australian made Bushmaster’s reputation for interoperability and versatility.

According to the Officer Commanding the SOTG’s CSST, a Captain M, the Bushmaster had ruptured an oil return hose during the course of a gruelling 19 day mission with the SOTG. It was deemed safer from a mechanical point of view to transport the PMV back than risk driving it.

“Personnel working with the SOTG are expected to find solutions out of left field where necessary, and that goes for CSST personnel as well.

“Arranging for the Russian pilots and their giant helicopter to transport our Bushmaster is one example of how the SOTG support staff have earned a reputation for resourcefulness and ability to come up with alternative and sometimes unusual solutions,” Capt M said.