A RAAF C-17A Globemaster is set to transport Vietnam soldiers and medical supplies to and from Juba in South Sudan to support a UN peacekeeping mission throughout April and May.
Vietnamese President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc bid farewell to the 128-tonne aircraft at a ceremony held in Hanoi.
“Australia is committed to deepening bilateral ties with its regional and strategic partners, including the shared and growing peacekeeping relationship with Vietnam,” Defence said in a statement.
“…Australia is pleased to be strengthening peacekeeping cooperation with Vietnam by providing strategic airlift support to its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.”
The RAAF’s Globemaster fleet has been particularly active in recent months supporting a number of key international missions.
Most recently, the transport aircraft airlifted Thales-built Bushmaster vehicles to Ukraine in support of the nation’s resistance to Russian aggression and is soon set to send six towed M777 howitzers and accompanying ammunition.
The Boeing C-17A Globemaster III is a four-engine heavy transport aircraft that can accommodate huge payloads and land on runways just 1 kilometre long. RAAF owns eight, all operated by No. 36 Squadron and based at Amberley.
The first arrived in 2006 and the last in 2015, complementing its CH-47F Chinooks and C-130J Hercules.
Earlier this week, Australian Aviation photographer Craig Murray shot this photo of a C-17 Globemaster sporting a new tail art to celebrate the 80th anniversary of 36 Squadron.
A41-207 was snapped at RAAF Base Amberley after it arrived back from a formation flight alongside A41-213.
The squadron was established as the 22nd Transport Squadron at Essendon Airport in Melbourne on 3 April 1942, coinciding with the establishment of several RAAF transport squadrons earlier the same year.
To honour the birthday, a memorial service was held at the RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre on 24 March, attended by USAF and RAAF personnel, along with local government representatives and guests.
The USAF 22nd Airlift Squadron also marked the occasion by flying one of its C-5M Galaxys to RAAF Base Amberley.