NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD– The H-60 Multi-mission Helicopters Program Office (PMA-299) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) recognized 10 years of partnership on June 6. In 2011, RAN’s Foreign Military Sale (FMS) case for MH-60 Romeo helicopters was established and the “mateship” between the two countries has continued through life-cycle support and collaboration.
Since case establishment in 2011, the RAN has received 24 aircraft and flown more than 30,000 flight hours with its MH-60R fleet of helicopters.
“Cooperation with the RAN can be seen across several U.S. military programs,” said MajGen Greg Masiello, program executive officer air anti-submarine warfare, assault, and special mission programs. “The MH-60R program is an example of how to effectively integrate our allied counterparts into a domestic team and witness successful mission outcomes.”
In 2018, the RAN stood up an MH-60R Joint Program Office (JPO) with PMA-299 through a Project Arrangement (PA). The first of its kind under the US/Australia/Denmark Tri-lateral Cooperative Framework Memorandums of Understanding (established in 2017), the PA supports a collaborative approach to future capability developments for the MH-60R.
“Our partnership goes beyond signatures on paper. The joint program ensures we develop and execute capabilities benefiting our U.S. and allied forces,” said Capt. Todd Evans, PMA-299 program manager. “We also value the collaboration our in-country RAN teammates bring to this program every day.”
Benefiting the US and RAN, the MH-60R JPO offers extensive collaboration and in-depth research, development, test, evaluation, mission integration and air vehicle capability improvements. There is also a major focus on maximizing the commonality of the aircraft’s configuration and enhancing interoperability with the U.S. Navy fleet while minimizing risk and excess costs.
“The 10th anniversary of mateship in the Romeo program builds on greater than 100 years of mateship more broadly between our two countries. The Romeo program exemplifies the ties between us and what can be achieved in an environment of trust, respect and human endeavor,” said Commodore Darren Rae, Director General of Navy Aviation, Aircrew Training and Commons branch.
Interoperability and alignment between the domestic and allied MH-60R fleets remain key tenets in this trusted mateship. In addition to the RAN staff imbedded here, the program has U.S. staff aboard in Australia. These roles have been vital in bridging the communication and alignment activities for the MH-60R program.
H-60 Multi-mission Helicopters Program Office (PMA-299) provides full-spectrum, world-wide support for the US Navy’s and International Partners’ MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters and user communities.