RAAF Helicopters in the Sinai as the Rotary Wing Aviation Unit (RWAU)

24 Mar 1982

The Rotary Wing Aviation Unit of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) body – to which RAAF contributed eight of the ten Iroquois helicopters required – flew its first mission from El Gorah, the unit’s operating base in the north-eastern Sinai, about 20 kilometres from the Mediterranean coast.

The US-led MFO had been set up in 1981 to monitor arrangements for the return of Egyptian territory in the Sinai which Israel had occupied since 1967. After Australia agreed to take part, the RAAF helicopters were delivered to Ashdod, Israel, by the heavy landing ship HMAS Tobruk on 19 March, and the 89 personnel drawn from the RAAF, RAN and Army arrived by RAAF B-707 transport the next day. On 21 March, the aircraft flew to El Gorah. The RWAU contingent remained in the Sinai until March 1986, when Australia withdrew from the MFO to reduce its peacekeeping commitments.

Related aircraft

  • Iroquois