RAAF completes first strike over Syria

Op OKRA
The two RAAF F/A-18A Hornets peel away from the KC-30A tanker whilst returning to base after striking a ISIL armoured personnel carrier in Syria. (Defence)

The Australian Air Task Group (ATG) has carried out its first strike against an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) target in eastern Syria.

Former minister Kevin Andrews stated that two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Hornets identified an armoured personnel carrier that was hidden in an ISIL compound, and reported back to the Combined Air Operations Centre via the E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control platform.

“Upon receiving authorisation to proceed, one of the Hornets employed a precision guided weapon to destroy the target,” Andrews said on September 16.

In an update to Parliament Andrews said that as at “13 September, the Air Task Group had completed a total of 408 ADF airstrike missions over Iraq.”

RAAF ATG stats to Sept 13
  • F/A-18F Super Hornets completed 209 missions, releasing 278 weapons;
  • F/A-18A ‘classic’ Hornet aircraft have completed 199 missions, releasing 237 weapons;
  • The KC-30A tanker has conducted 394 missions, offloading nearly 32 million pounds of fuel to Australian and coalition aircraft; and
  • The E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C has conducted 135 command and control missions.