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RAAF units test air defence radar capabilities during Talisman Sabre

written by Staff reporter | August 10, 2021

Two Royal Australian Air Force units deployed air defence and surveillance technologies during Australia’s largest multinational training exercise.

The RAAF’s No. 3 Control and Reporting Unit (3CRU), based at RAAF Base Williamtown, and the No. 114 Mobile Control and Reporting Unit (114MCRU), based at RAAF Base Darwin, put air surveillance and tactical air defence radar capabilities to the test during Exercise Talisman Sabre 21 (TS21).

Supporting No. 41 Wing Group commitment to the delivery of sensor and communications effects for the exercise.

As part of their contribution, personnel transported surveillance radars, communications cabins and satellite terminals to engage in real-time training scenarios.

The units, which form part of No. 41 Wing Group, transmitted data via satellite to the Control and Reporting Centre at RAAF Base Williamtown, near Newcastle.

“As part of the exercise activity, these 41 Wing unit deployments made an important contribution to delivering the surveillance picture for the exercise – for all participants,” No. 41 Wing Group Captain Brett Risstrom said.


“…The transmitted data provided operators with vital communications and surveillance information to manage aircraft postures, detect and track opposing aircraft, and be able to provide tactical direction to aircraft, assisting in the co-ordination of the missions.”

TS21 enabled the units to complete competency upgrades for both air battle managers and air surveillance operators.

The activities also enhanced interoperability, facilitating support for the forward deployment of sensor equipment, co-operation with other command and control systems, and validation of tactics, techniques and procedures.


“TS21 was an important force-generation training activity as it allowed 41 Wing units to maintain the highest level of operational proficiency in both deployable and fixed-base environments,” GPCAPT Risstrom added.

A ceremony in Kissing Point, Townsville, marked the end of TS21 late las month — a three-week, multinational military exercise involving approximately 17,000 troops from Australia, the US, UK, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and South Korea, along with observer nations France and India.

Exercise highlights included:

  • South Korea’s inaugural participation — the nation’s destroyer, ROKS Wang Geon, contributed to a maritime warfare scenario involving around 20 ships and 60 aircraft;
  • the inaugural deployment of the US MIM-104 Patriot surface to air missile;
  • 120 Spartan Paratroopers from Alaska embarking in two RAAF C-17A Globemaster III aircraft in Darwin, jumping over the skies of Charters Towers to join Australian land forces;
  • amphibious forces from Australia, the US, Japan and the UK operating from HMAS Canberra for the first time as an integrated landing force; and
  • the inaugural deployment of the US Space Command.

Written by Charbel Kadib.

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