Australien — Air Force Hercules test their skills at Air Warrior

A true test of com­bat air mobil­i­ty skills is com­ing for Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force (RAAF) C‑130 Her­cules air­craft and crews on their way to Exer­cise Air War­rior II.

Held out of Lit­tle Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas from April 18–26, Air War­rior II will see per­son­nel sup­port and fly the Her­cules in a sim­u­lat­ed front­line envi­ron­ment to deliv­er troops and car­go.

A C‑130H and C‑130J Her­cules from No. 37 Squadron will depart RAAF Base Rich­mond for the exer­cise on April 13. A con­tin­gent of 88 Aus­tralian per­son­nel will par­tic­i­pate along­side their Unit­ed States mil­i­tary coun­ter­parts.

Air War­rior II fea­tures day and night-time mis­sions which take place in a train­ing area filled with airstrips, drop zones, and a host of sim­u­lat­ed ene­my threats.

Wing Com­man­der Matt Hegar­ty, Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of No. 37 Squadron, said Air War­rior II is an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty to fur­ther devel­op the skills of Air Force and Army Air Dis­patch per­son­nel in a joint envi­ron­ment.

“Our suc­cess in Air War­rior II will be judged on how we safe­ly and effec­tive­ly per­form our com­bat air mobil­i­ty role as a coali­tion part­ner,” Wing Com­man­der Hegar­ty said.

“Our par­tic­i­pa­tion in Air War­rior II is part of how we’re able to suc­cess­ful­ly inte­grate with coali­tion part­ners on real-world oper­a­tions. Through this exer­cise we learn from peo­ple with the skills and expe­ri­ence in con­duct­ing high inten­si­ty air mobil­i­ty oper­a­tions.”

“While they’re fly­ing their mis­sions, our Her­cules crews can expect to face ground-borne threats which are sim­u­lat­ed through pyrotech­nics, and be judged on their mis­sion suc­cess by an inde­pen­dent observ­er who will fly with them.”

Mean­while, main­tain­ers and oper­a­tional sup­port per­son­nel must face the pres­sures of keep­ing the Her­cules ‘on line’ whilst they defend against ‘ene­my’ ground forces.

The RAAF has more than half a cen­tu­ry of oper­at­ing dif­fer­ent mod­els of the C‑130 Her­cules in the air mobil­i­ty role, and con­tin­ues to refine and devel­op its abil­i­ties.

“Air War­rior II allows us to main­tain our high stan­dards by util­is­ing train­ing facil­i­ties in the Unit­ed States which are unlike what we have back home,” Wing Com­man­der Hegar­ty said. Dur­ing the exer­cise, RAAF and Army per­son­nel will also have the unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­duct an Anzac Day com­mem­o­ra­tive ser­vice.

Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force
Media Con­tact
Flight Lieu­tenant Eamon Hamil­ton (02) 4587 3844 or 0429 868 794