Air Force aircraft and personnel depart for the Middle East
4 March 2015
A contingent of Royal Australian Air Force personnel and aircraft have departed for the Middle East from RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.
The aircraft and personnel will replace elements of the initial Air Task Group which deployed to the Middle East Region in September 2014.
The Air Task Group is a key part of Operation OKRA, the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the international effort to disrupt and degrade the Daesh terrorist threat in Iraq.
Six F/A-18A Hornets from RAAF Base Tindal will replace the six F/A-18F Super Hornets currently operating in the Middle East, and will join Australia’s Air Task Group that includes a KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport and an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft.
RAAF C?130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster III aircraft are also available to provide additional humanitarian and logistic support as required. The F/A-18F Super Hornets will return home to Australia in the coming month.
Air Commander Australia, Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Turnbull, said he was immensely proud of the professionalism, commitment and dedication of all deployed and deploying Air Force personnel.
“Today marked the departure of the F/A-18A Hornets to Australia’s Air Task Group to the Middle East Region and is a significant event,” AVM Turnbull said.
“I acknowledge the immense amount of planning and preparation by personnel right across Air Force that is undertaken to successfully execute operational deployments.
“I also acknowledge the significant role that our members’ families and friends play in supporting their loved ones as they prepare for and undertake their operational deployment.
“Our people are well trained, skilled and professional members of the Australian Defence Force,” he said.
There are currently approximately 600 ADF personnel deployed to the Middle East as part of Australia’s contribution to the international effort to disrupt and degrade the Daesh terrorist threat.
Australia’s support to the mission is at the request of the Iraq and US Governments.
Vision will be fed to the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery today.
Defence imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20150497
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