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Navy choppers drop in on Gunbalanya

16 September 2014

Kids in Gunbalanya had a chance to check out the Royal Australian Navy's Seahawk choppers when 816 Squadron literally dropped in on the community as part of Exercise KAKADU 2014.

The two SB-70B Seahawk helicopters were warmly welcomed by the West Arnhem community n Friday 29 August.

Kerry Manakgu, an Assistant Teacher at West Arnhem College, said the children had been looking forward to the visit. “This is very special. The kids like to see how big the helicopters are,” Ms Manakgu said. 

Local boys Raphael and Norman were also suitably impressed. “We like the noise!” the boys said.

Lieutenant Commander Mick Doncaster, Executive Officer HMAS Coonawarra, drove to Gunbalanya from Darwin to meet the flight.

“We left at 0530 this morning. The bitumen ends at Cahill’s Crossing and you feel like you are going into another world,” Lieutenant Commander Doncaster said.

“It is a real privilege to come here today, its an amazing community. You only have to look around from where we are standing now and you can see the ancient landscapes of Arnhem Land. It is somewhere we very rarely ever get to visit."