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Exercise Christmas Drop Australia
05 Dec 2019
From 2 – 8 December 2019, the Royal Australian Air Force's No. 35 Squadron conducted Exercise Christmas Drop Australia 19 to deliver supplies to indigenous and remote communities in Northern Queensland and Western Australia. Supported by Air Force Indigenous Liaison Officers, the Australian Army's 51 Far North QLD Regiment and Pilbara Regiment, the exercise increased interoperability between RAAF crews on the C-27J Spartan aircraft and Australian Army land forces. The exercise extended the Regional Force Surveillance Group’s reach through air power, and demonstrated the aerial resupply capability of the C-27J in austere environments.
RAAF launches 5 KC-30A aircraft simultaneously
27 Nov 2019
On 15 November 2019, No. 33 Squadron prepared five of its KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transports for launch at the same time, demonstrating the Squadron’s ability to surge to meet Australia’s strategic air mobility requirements. At RAAF Base Amberley, the five KC-30As conducted an ‘elephant walk’ – the traditional name given to a group of aircraft taxiing together – before four of these aircraft took off on missions that included air-to-air refuelling training, a flight test activity, and airlift support to rural firefighters in New South Wales. Air Force operates a fleet of seven KC-30As, with the first introduced to Air Force service in 2011. Instances where a majority of the KC-30A fleet are together at RAAF Base Amberley are rare, with the aircraft used extensively to deploy Defence personnel and Air Force aircraft over long distances, as well as sustaining operations and exercises with air-to-air refuelling.
RAAF aerial display at the Newcastle 500
26 Nov 2019
The Royal Australian Navy, Australian Regular Army and the Royal Australian Air Force joined forces at the Newcastle 500 – Supercars 22-24 November, to showcase Australian Defence Force (ADF) capabilities through technology and teamwork. A RAAF F/A-18A Classic Hornet from Number 77 Squadron based at RAAF Base Williamtown performed an adrenaline pumping aerial display and a flypast over Pit Straight before the main race on both days over the weekend. At the ‘ADF ground precinct’, Supercar fans tested their skills as an Air Force fast-jet pilot at the Air Force Simulator Experience, plus browsed through Defence capability displays featuring Team Army’s project car and street machines. The Australian Army Band Newcastle provided roving entertainment, and for young people considering a career in the ADF, Defence Force Recruiting career staff were on hand with information and resources to get career journeys started. ADF participation in the Newcastle 500 – Supercars provided the opportunity to showcase local Defence capabilities and importantly highlight the dedication and commitment of our ADF men and women who serve at home and abroad on operations.
RAAF completes its final F/A-18A/B Hornet operational conversion course
21 Nov 2019
No. 2 Operation Conversion Unit is conducting Exercise High Sierra 19-2 from RAAF Base Townsville from 18 November to 05 December 2019. Exercise High Sierra represents the last three weeks of the 6 month long F/A-18 operational conversion course (OPCON) that converts fighter pilots from the Hawk Mk127 Lead-in-fighter aircraft to the F/A-18 Hornet. Exercise High Sierra 19 is the last OPCON for the F/A-18 Hornet before the withdrawal of the aircraft from the RAAF in 2021.
Exercise Global Dexterity
13 Nov 2019
In November 2019, No. 36 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley hosted United States Air Force crews from 535th Air Lift Squadron to participate in Exercise Global Dexterity. The inter-fly exercise saw mixed RAAF and USAF C-17 Globemaster III crews maintain, load and fly the aircraft – a major milestone for both nations. Participating in ‘three-ship’ air-to-air refuelling training with RAAF KC-30 Multi-role Tanker Transport aircraft, and airdrop formations, the C-17s descended to an altitude of 100 metres at times along the Queensland coast between the Whitsundays and Noosa passing over Fraser Island and Rainbow Beach.