RAAF completes last strike mission over Iraq

written by australianaviation.com.au | January 16, 2018

A RAAF Super Hornet overflies Rawah, Iraq. (Defence)

Royal Australian Air Force fighters have flown their last missions over Iraq, with two 1 Squadron F/A-18F Super Hornets completing the Australian Air Task Group’s final “strike mission” as part of Operation Okra on Sunday, Defence has announced.
The RAAF has maintained a continuous deployment of six F/A-18 fighters, either single-seat F/A-18A ‘classic’ Hornets and dual-seat F/A-18F Super Hornets, in the Middle East since September 2014 as part of the US-led international coalition’s campaign to defeat Islamic State, or Daesh, in Iraq and Syria. Since their first operational mission, the Hornets flew more than 2,700 sorties accumulating over 21,000 flying hours.
“Over more than three years, hundreds of ADF personnel have deployed to the Middle East as part of the ATG strike element. With each deployment, they have demonstrated the highest levels of skill, courage and professionalism,” Chief of Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin said.
“Our aircrew and their support crews have consistently delivered in extremely difficult and challenging conditions.”
The current rotation of six Super Hornets has been deployed to Al Minhad Air Base in the UAE since June 2017.
“The Air Strike Group and their families can be proud of their achievements and their important contribution to help the Iraqi Security Forces liberate their country from Daesh,” CDF said.
While the six Super Hornets and their crews and support staff will now return to Australia, for now the ATG will continue operations in support of the Coalition air campaign in Iraq and Syria with a Wedgetail AEW&C and KC-30 MRTT aircraft.
A KC-30 and Wedgetail will remain in the Middle East, but the RAAF’s Super Hornets are coming home. (Defence)

“The ADF will continue to work with our coalition and Iraqi partners over the coming months to establish their ongoing requirements and assess where they can make the most valuable contribution, as we work to maintain the gains in that region,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.

Did you know that Australian Aviation Magazine comes digitally? Subscribe to Australian Aviation’s digital magazine for just $59.95 a year! Our app is available on mobile, tablet and PC devices! Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

9 Comments

  • Raymond

    says:

    Thank you RAAF!

  • Paul

    says:

    Well done boys, I think everyone on this forum should shout them a beer. Hornets rock!!!!

  • Philip

    says:

    This is great news especially as they are all returning without serious incident.
    I’m also pleased that the RAAF does not festoon its strike aircraft with silhouetted bomb marking on the nose of the aircraft after each sortie – I have always found that distasteful. I’m sure they record them in other ways, but I’m glad it is not in the public realm.

  • Greg

    says:

    Mr Churchill always said it best, “Never was so much owed by so many to so few”, Great job and well done.

  • Paul

    says:

    Philip, bomb markings on the nose look awesome!! The RAAF has done this before.

  • Tom

    says:

    Well Done RAAF

  • Hayden.R

    says:

    Good Show!

  • colin campbell

    says:

    Let’s not forget the girls, at least one on the MRTTs as a pilot and the support crews!

  • Jeff

    says:

    To our ADF forces in the Middle East
    “well done and welcome home!”
    Lest we forget.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year