RAAF C-130J Hercules drops 30 special forces soldiers in Temora

written by Adam Thorn | May 16, 2021
Soldiers from 2 Commando Regiment depart the drop zone after parachuting into crop fields in Temora, NSW. (Defence / Sergeant Janine Fabre)

A RAAF C-130J Hercules dropped 30 Special Operations Forces soldiers from 2 Commando Regiment in Temora to prepare for an upcoming bilateral defence exercise with the US.

The parachuting soldiers landed safely in the drop zone, and navigated several kilometres to the airport, where they rendezvoused with another RAAF aircraft for extraction.

Warrant Officer Class Two S, who supervised Exercise Titan Pegasus, thanked the local community for supporting the operation.

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“We’ve been able to achieve some solid training in a new environment unfamiliar to the teams involved and we wouldn’t have been able to do that without the local Temora support,” he said.

Titan Pegasus forms part of 2 Commando Regiment’s preparation for Exercise Talisman Sabre, conducted alongside US special operations forces.

2 Commando Regiment is expected to conduct a similar exercise by night at another remote drop zone before participating in Exercise Talisman Sabre in July.

The last Talisman Sabre, in 2019, was then Australia’s biggest bilateral defence exercise with the US.

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Personnel from the US and Australia participated in warfighting scenarios at sea, on land and in the air against a fictitious enemy, as technologically capable as themselves.

Force elements from Japan, Canada, UK and New Zealand also participated.

Last month, Australian Aviation reported how a RAAF C-130J Hercules delivered two off-road emergency service vehicles to St John Ambulance in Port Moresby, PNG.

The PNG Troop Carrier ambulances were refurbished in Darwin by St John Northern Territory (NT), and were designed to operate in remote areas and drive over rough terrain.

A C-130J was also shifted from RAAF Base Richmond to RAAF Base Pearce in WA to support communities affected by tropical cyclone Seroja in April.

The C-130J Super Hercules is a medium-sized tactical air-lifter that can carry 128 passengers or eight pallets of cargo. It can work alongside other airlifters, too, such as the C-27J Spartan and C-17A Globemaster III.

In September 1999, it helped evacuate 2,500 people from Dili, as conflict in East Timor raged.

A fleet of 12 are operated from RAAF Base Richmond by No. 37 Squadron, and were delivered between 1999 and 2001, but its lineage goes back far further.

The RAAF received its initial batch of the original incarnation of the Hercules back in December 1958, becoming the first nation to operate the aircraft outside of the US Air Force.

It marked 800,000 flying hours by its fleet with a formation flight of three over Sydney Harbour in 2014.

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