723 Squadron RAN

723 Squadron is a Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm squadron. The squadron was first raised in 1952 and throughout its history has served operationally during the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and in East Timor. It currently operates as a helicopter training squadron and is based at HMAS Albatross at Nowra, New South Wales.

723 Squadron RAN
Royal Australian Navy Bell 429 of 723 Squadron
Country Australia
Battle honoursVietnam 1967–1971
Kuwait 1991
East Timor 1999


723 Squadron was first commissioned into the RAN on 7 April 1952 and was equipped with one Dakota, one Wirraway, one Sea Otter and two Sea Fury aircraft.

On 11 March 1953 the Squadron took delivery of the RAN's first helicopter, a Bristol Sycamore. 723 Squadron also took delivery of the RAN's first jet aircraft, a de Havilland Vampire Mk T.34 on 18 June 1954.[1]

During the Vietnam War, personnel from the squadron operated as part of the Experimental Military Unit, a joint Australian-American helicopter assault and transport unit.[2] During the squadron's history, the battle honours "Vietnam 1967–71", "Kuwait 1991", and "East Timor 1999" have been earned.[3][4]

Current roles

723 is currently active as the Australian Defence Force's helicopter training squadron operating the EC-135T2+ helicopter at the Joint Helicopter School.[5] It was previously equipped with 13 Aerospatiale AS 350BA Ecureuil (Squirrel) and three Bell 429 helicopters. The Squadron is based at HMAS Albatross (NAS Nowra). The Squirrels were used for conversion training all pilots, observers and aircrew from fixed wing to rotary wing aircraft. The Bell 429 joined the Squadron in 2012 on lease from Raytheon Australia and are used for multi engine training for pilots moving onto other aircraft such as the S-70B-2 Seahawk.





  1. "723 Squadron History Part 1". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  2. Australian Naval Aviation Museum (ANAM) (1998). Flying Stations: A Story of Australian Naval Aviation. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. pp. 179–81. ISBN 1-86448-846-8. OCLC 39290180.
  3. "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  4. "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours" (PDF). Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  5. "723 Squadron". Royal Australian Navy. 3 December 2019.
  6. "Raytheon Australia's Retention and Motivation Initiative Acceptance Activities Commence" (PDF). Media Release. Raytheon Australia. 31 January 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012. Raytheon Australia today announced the beginning of acceptance activities of its first Bell 429 helicopters to be utilised under the Royal Australian Navy’s Retention and Motivation Initiative 2 (RMI 2) Program ...
  7. Article from The Australian newspaper online, retrieved 2007-08-30.

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