Wednesday April 23, 2014

Newest F/A-18 Hornet pilots put through their paces

A file image from Exercise High Sierra 2009-2. (DoD)

A new class of F/A-18 Hornet pilots will be put through their final paces during two-plus weeks of exercises at RAAF Townsville.

More than 150 RAAF personnel and as many as 12 F/A-18 Hornets will take part in Exercise High Sierra, which begins today and runs through December 8. The 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU) exercise focuses on key capabilities such as precision strike missions.

High Sierra represents the final phase of the six month operational conversion (or ‘opcon’) course in which pilots trained on the Hawk Mk127 lead-in fighter transition to the F/A-18. After opcon the pilots are then posted to operational Hornet squadrons.

Exercise High Sierra will involve day and night flying operations. No flights are planned for the weekends and weekday flights are scheduled to conclude at 10 pm. Members of the community can contact 1800 555 478 for information on flying activities.