The main contingent of RAAF personnel and aircraft being deployed to contribute to US-led efforts to “disrupt and degrade” ISIL forces in Iraq departed RAAF bases Amberley and Williamtown on Sunday, headed to Al Minhad air base in the UAE.
The contingent includes F/A-18F Super Hornets, a KC-30A tanker transport and an E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft.
“Today marks the departure of the main Air Force contingent deploying to the Middle East,” said Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown.
Air Marshal Brown said he was proud of the preparation work conducted by all Air Force personnel in the lead-up to the deployment.
“The large amount of preparation conducted to deploy such a potent and capable force in a relatively short time is a testament to the professionalism and skill of our Air Force,” he said.
This contingent will join the RAAF C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster aircraft and personnel already in the region. These aircraft have already operated a number of humanitarian airdrops and munitions delivery flights to northern Iraq, the most recent of these being completed on September 16.