All the hard work put in during the heavy exercise schedule undergone by Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Wedgetail crews has been reflected in the aircraft’s impressive performance under Operation OKRA, according to the detachment commander of the first Wedgetail rotation.
Executive officer of No 42 Wing and formerly commanding officer of No 2 Squadron WGCDR Paul Carpenter says that conducting surveillance and support operations as part of the multinational search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 aslo had been an important step in maturing the capability.
He predicts that final operational apability (FOC) for the airborne early warning and control platform is expected to be declared “in the near future”.
Although little known, one of the most important aspects of the successful deployment of the E-7A as part of the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the international effort to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq has been the success of logistics engineering work.
“For me, one of the most outstanding successes of Operation OKRA, as far as I’m concerned, is with the logistics engineering,” WGCDR Carpenter said at the Avalon Airshow on Wednesdsay.
Every time we had to replace a component or do some work on it, we had the right people, we had the right parts, and the procedures. And again I tie this back to all the exercise work we did.”