Ordnance crews working hard to hit their targets
1 February 2016
OPERATION OKRA (Middle East Region): Australia's Air Task Group has employed more weapons in one calendar month than ever before and has hit what is believed to be the first non-militant infrastructure target since World War II.
The F/A-18A Hornet fighter-attack aircraft employed 73 precision guided weapons during November 2015 in support of US-led international coalition assembled to disrupt and degrade Daesh.
Then, in early December 2015, the Air Task Group successfully targeted and destroyed an oil facility.
The Coalition strike rate is denying Daesh freedom of movement and their ability to mass forces and to finance and conduct resupply of their fighters in the field.
The Coalition continues to target Daesh's means of transportation, heavy equipment, command and control nodes and logistic supply centres ensuring a continued degradation and disruption of Daesh operations./p>
Flight Lieutenant Nathan, the Armament Officer for the Australian Air Task Group's strike said the ground team had been working hard to continue support to the Coalition campaign.
He said is was his job to ensure that supply, storage and subsequent configuration of ordnance meets the high operational demand.
"The Air Task Group strike element runs two types of missions: Close Air Support and Deliberate Strikes," he said.
"Close Air Support involves supporting friendly ground forces, while Deliberate Strikes focus on pre-planned strikes on Daesh strategic targets.
"To achieve these operational objectives, munitions including Laser Guided Bombs and GPS Guided Bombs need to be transported from Australia to the Air Task Group's Main Air Operating Base in the Middle East.
"They are then assembled according to mission requirements by Armament Technicians prior to use by F/A-18A Hornet aircraft."
The payload carried by the F/A-18A Hornet on each mission is carefully planned using sophisticated damage assessment modelling to achieve the desired effect on the target whilst ensuring minimal risk of to the local population.
Armament Technicians configure these munitions by assembling bomb bodies with guidance tail kits, nose cones, fuses and various other weapon components.
Flight Lieutenant Nathan said the weapons employed on a mission can vary greatly in both explosive payload and method of precision guidance.
"We need to ensure we have a constant resupply of weapons in the correct quantity and type so we can continue effective air operations against Daesh," he said.