Australien — RAAF Hercules ‘vital’ to Middle East Ops

If there is one cru­cial ele­ment to Australia’s con­tri­bu­tion to the inter­na­tion­al cam­paigns in the Mid­dle East, it has to be the Her­cules C‑130J.

Hercules C-130J
Her­cules C‑130J
Source: Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force

Major Gen­er­al John Cantwell, AO com­mands all Aus­tralian Defence Force units deployed in the Mid­dle East Area of Oper­a­tions (MEAO) assigned to Oper­a­tion Slip­per, as well as those forces assigned to Oper­a­tion Kruger in Iraq and says that the air­craft has a vital role to play.

“We could­n’t do our mis­sion with­out them,” he says.

Based in the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates, the ADF has three Her­cules C‑130J air­craft cur­rent­ly in oper­a­tion and have been con­tin­u­ous­ly part of the action in the Mid­dle East since ear­ly 2003. In fact, the air­borne work­hors­es recent­ly exceed­ed 20,000 fly­ing hours sup­port­ing Aus­tralian and Coali­tion troops. The sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone was reached dur­ing a mis­sion to aero-med­ical­ly evac­u­ate Aus­tralian sol­diers wound­ed in an Impro­vised Explo­sive Device strike in late March.

“In the time that the C‑130s have been oper­at­ing here, they’ve flown more than 11,300 mis­sions,” Major Gen­er­al Cantwell explains.

“They’ve moved more than 140,000 troops – that’s like 6500 footy teams and they’ve moved more than 31,000,000 kilo­grams of stores and equip­ment which is the same as mov­ing 30,000 Hold­en Com­modores or Ford Fal­cons… it’s a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment.”

Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force