Australia-based Opstar has secured a contract from the Australian Government to continue to deliver search and rescue (SAR) services at HMAS Albatross.

HMAS Albatross is the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Naval Air Station (NAS). Located at Nowra on the South Coast of New South Wales, it is home to the RAN Fleet Air Arm’s (FAA) three Naval Air Squadrons.

Since 2016, the company has been contracted to deliver SAR services for the Aviation Operations of the RAN’s FAA at the air station.

Naval personnel at HMAS Albatross will now continue to have access to round-the-clock aviation emergency response, first response medical treatment and extraction and recovery services.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “Opstar has been instrumental in developing the search and rescue capability to prepare for a wide variety of potential incidents that may occur at HMAS Albatross and associated training areas.

“This contract will ensure that our navy personnel receive crucial emergency response services if and when they need. It is further evidence of the Morrison Government’s support of small and medium businesses in our defence industry.”

The $8.76m (A$12m) contract, which has a base performance period until mid-2023, includes an option to extend it by two one-year periods.

This investment will maintain the nation’s sovereign defence capabilities, boost the defence industry and save lives, as well as support and secure local jobs. 

Currently, around 50 people work for the company in the Nowra region.

In 2019, a team from Opstar participated in HMAS Albatross’s crash exercise, known as Crashex.

This exercise focused on testing the skills of responders in challenging situations and included a simulated helicopter crash.