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Day in the life of a F-35A pilot
20 Dec 2018
Although two F-35As have arrived at RAAF Base Williamtown, Australia will continue to maintain a significant presence at Luke Air Force Base in the medium term. At Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, Royal Australian Air Force pilots and maintenance personnel continue to partner with United States Air Force units and Lockheed Martin as they undergo training on the F-35A.
Operation Christmas Drop
19 Dec 2018
From 05-18 December 2018, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) joined the United States Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) and Koku Jieitai ( JASDF) for Operation Christmas Drop, the Department of Defense’s longest-running humanitarian airlift operation. Launching from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, C-130J Hercules aircraft delivered donated goods by parachute to remote island communities in the West Pacific including rice and non-perishable foods, toys, fishing equipment and clothing. Beginning in 1952 Operation Christmas Drop delivers to islands covering an area of six million square kilometres.
Air Force Joint Strike Fighters Arrive in Australia
10 Dec 2018
In an historic day in Australian aviation, the first two F-35A Joint Strike Fighters to be permanently based in Australia arrived at RAAF Base Williamtown. The Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, and Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, were there to welcome the aircraft and RAAF fighter pilots who flew the final leg in the journey from Luke Air Force Base Arizona. The Lockheed-Martin-built Joint Strike Fighter will be operated by nine partner nations, reaffirming and strengthening Australia’s alliance with the United States and other key international partners including the United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Denmark and Norway. The two aircraft arrived in Australia following a cross-Pacific ferry from Luke Air Force Base Arizona and will be operated by the Air Force’s Number 3 Squadron. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighters will be based at RAAF Base Williamtown and at RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.
Australia’s first F-35A prepare for the journey home
04 Dec 2018
Royal Australian Air Force personnel deployed to Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, USA prepare the aircraft they will bring home in December 2018. Royal Australian Air Force pilots and maintenance personnel are embedded within United States Air Force units and partnering with Lockheed Martin to prepare for the introduction of Australia’s first fifth-generation air combat capability. The F-35A Joint Strike Fighter is the most advanced, affordable fifth generation multi-role stealth fighter to meet Australia’s need to defeat emerging threats well into the future. The F-35A is truly next-generation due to its stealth capability, advanced sensors, data fusion and its ability to share information with other aircraft, Army units and Navy ships. The Australian Government has approved the purchase of 72 F-35A aircraft to replace F/A-18A/B Hornets. Royal Australian Air Force pilots and maintenance personnel are fully embedded and integrated in USAF squadrons as they prepare to lead Australia’s transition to a fifth-generation Air Force.