RAAF Super Hornets return home

written by australianaviation.com.au | January 25, 2018

A RAAF Super Hornet on approach to land at RAAF Base Pearce earlier this week en route to Amberley. (Brenden Scott)

The Royal Australian Air Force’s deployment of fighter jets to the Middle East to support combat operations against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has concluded with the final rotation of six F/A-18F Super Hornets returning to RAAF Base Amberley in south-east Queensland on Wednesday.
The aircraft and personnel from 1 Squadron were formally welcomed home at Amberley by family and friends and an official party including Prime Minsiter Malcolm Turnbull, Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne, Chief of Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin and Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies.
The six Super Hornets had been deployed to Al Minhad Air Base in the UAE since June 2017, and flew their last “strike mission” earlier this month.
“The effort to establish the Air Task Group and then to sustain this mission was outstanding and the RAAF’s men and women have again proven themselves to be a professional fighting force,” Minister Payne said.
“I also acknowledge the valuable support our Air Force families provided while our serving members were deployed so far from home.”
The six Super Hornets had been deployed to Al Minhad Air Base in the UAE since June 2017. (Defence)

Under Operation Okra, the RAAF had maintained a continuous deployment of six F/A-18 fighters, either single-seat F/A-18A ‘classic’ Hornets or 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.
While the six Super Hornets and their crews and support staff have now returned to Australia, for now theAir Task Group will continue operations in support of the Coalition air campaign in Iraq and Syria with a Wedgetail AEW&C and KC-30 MRTT aircraft.
F/A-18A Hornets during the first mission of Operation Okra to be flown over Syria, in September 2015. (Defence)

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5 Comments

  • Allan

    says:

    Welcome home guys and girls, Job well done and thank you.

  • PAUL

    says:

    Home safe & sound with no incidents is great. & some serious experience gained

  • John N

    says:

    PAUL,
    “& some serious experience gained”, you are exactly 100% correct.
    Not that we want to be going off to war on a regular basis, but this operation and other ADF/RAAF operations generally in recent decades, certainly provide a lot of ‘corporate knowledge’, current real world corporate knowledge, to further enhance the capabilities of the RAAF and ADF.
    Successful operations, such as this, is what keeps the RAAF being one of the most professional, capable and safest small/medium air forces in the world.
    Again, we don’t want to be going off to war regularly, but if called up, I’m sure that the next time the RAAF has to operate in the latest hot spot, it will do so to the same high standards that I’m sure it sets for itself too.
    Cheers,
    John N

  • Paul

    says:

    It was a great welcome home celebration and we all enjoyed ourselves. The Rhinos did a fantastic job along with all the serving men and women. Couldn’t help getting photos of the kids running up to their Mum and Dads. GO RAAF!!!

  • Ken

    says:

    Welcome home guys and thank you for a job well done.

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