RAAF F-111s will take part in Exercise Chong Ju at Puckapunyal this week, marking the last time the aircraft takes part in the exercise ahead of its retirement at the end of the year.
Two 6SQN F-111s will operate from RAAF Base Amberley to provide close air support during the exercise, and will conduct their missions between 1400-1500hrs on May 12 and 13, using 250kg and 1000kg high explosive weapons. The aircraft will descend to low level from 20km north of Puckapunyal tracking east to west, before turning south over Lake Eppalock towards Castlemaine. They will head east towards Pyalong and then north over the Puckapunyal Range area, before returning to Amberley.
“Chong Ju is an important exercise to integrate F-111 capability in concert with the Army. The exercise also provides aircrew with invaluable continuation and currency training in close air support,” said 6SQN commanding officer WGCDR Micka Gray.
The F-111s have conducted long range strikes from Amberley to Puckapunyal for firepower demonstrations since the 1980s, when the exercise was known as El Alamein. The first Chong Ju was conducted in 2001 and has been undertaken twice a year since.