Amberley crews to help in fight against ISIS

WATCHING BRIEF: Personnel from RAAF Base Amberley aboard a KC-30A conduct air-to-air refuelling exercises with F/A-18 Hornets. Pictured are (from left) Nic Barnes, Andrew Newman and Jarred Croft.
WATCHING BRIEF: Personnel from RAAF Base Amberley aboard a KC-30A conduct air-to-air refuelling exercises with F/A-18 Hornets. Pictured are (from left) Nic Barnes, Andrew Newman and Jarred Croft. Inga Williams

AIR crew from RAAF Base Amberley are gearing up to fly out to the Middle East after the government's decision to prepare to contribute to internationally led efforts to disrupt and degrade IS.

The Australian Defence Force deployment of about 600 personnel will include up to eight F/A-18F Super Hornets and a KC-30A air-to-air refuelling aircraft from Amberley.

The Australian contingent will move to the United Arab Emirates where they will prepare to respond to future government decisions.

The ADF also plans to deploy E-7A Wedgetail Early Warning and Control aircraft and the associated support personnel required to operate and sustain them.

A Defence spokeswoman said the deployment was still in the planning phase.

"Defence is currently conducting the detailed planning work required to prepare for this deployment including careful mission planning, force preparation and force protection in conjunction with contributing nations," the spokeswoman said.

The RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet can be used for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions.

Twenty-four Super Hornets are flown by Numbers 1 and 6 Squadrons at RAAF Base Amberley.

The KC-30A is a heavily modified Airbus A330 airliner used for air-to-air refuelling and transport.

The aircraft are fitted with an aerial refuelling boom system mounted on the tail of the aircraft and refuelling pods underneath each wing, which can refuel probe-equipped aircraft.

They are controlled by an operator in the cockpit, who can view refuelling on 2D and 3D screens.


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