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April 29, 2010
FLTLT Eamon Hamilton
A PAIR of 37SQN Hercules have trad-
ed Down Under for the Deep South to
take part in Exercise Air Warrior II.
From April 18 to 26, Exercise Air
Warrior II at Little Rock Air Force Base
in Arkansas will feature a 37SQN C-
130H and C-130J, along with an 88-
strong Australian contingent.
Combat air lift missions will
be flown by Australian Hercules
alongside their American counter-
parts into a massive training area
in the American state of Louisiana.
Little Rock is a haven for the C-
130s. It is the home of the US Air
Force's 19th Airlift Wing, owner of
the largest fleet of C-130s in the
world, with more than 90 C-130Es,
Hs and Js.
Exercise Air Warrior II is run
by the US Army's Joint Readiness
Training Center (JRTC), which is ded-
icated to preparing units for combat
This year is the first time since
October 2007 that circumstances have
allowed RAAF Hercules to return to
Air Warrior II.
Attendance at Red Flag in Nevada
and the Advanced Airlift Tactics
Training Center in Missouri and Air
Warrior II tests the full range of C-
130 capabilities at facilities that are
not available in our region.
CO 37SQN WGCDR Matt Hegarty
said Air Warrior II will help Air Force
to continue integrating with coalition
partners during operations.
"Through this exercise we learn from
people with the skills and experience
in conducting high intensity air
mobility operations," WGCDR
The JRTC training area in
Louisiana features a forward
operating base, dirt airstrips,
and numerous drop zones.
It is also host to pyrotech-
nic displays and 'enemy units'
which increase the realism of
the training area.
Personnel back at Little
Rock meanwhile have to
remain vigilant against attacks
and disturbances from 'enemy
forces', modelled on real world
"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,"
WGCDR Hegarty said.
"While they're flying their
missions, our Hercules crews
can expect to face ground-
borne threats, and be judged
on their mission success by an
independent observer who will
fly with them.
"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," WGCDR
During the exercise, RAAF
and US Army personnel had
the unique opportunity of con-
ducting an Anzac Day com-
memorative service together.
Further coverage of Air Warrior
II will appear in an upcoming
edition of Air Force News.
Little time to
draw breath at 37SQN
THREE continents. Five countries.
More than 170 personnel away
Call it another working week at
In the week leading to Anzac
Day, 37SQN experienced one of its
busiest operating periods against a
backdrop of evolving change back
Three Hercules and 60 person-
nel continued their support of
Operation Slipper in Afghanistan
from their base in the United Arab
Emirates. Another pair of Hercules
took part in Exercise Air Warrior II
in the United States, with 88 per-
sonnel from 37SQN and Combat
Regionally, a Hercules deployed
to Bersama Shield in Malaysia.
Back home in Australia, training
tasks with 285SQN took place
at RAAF Bases Richmond and
Edinburgh. All the while, 37SQN
remains ready to respond to any
immediate crisis that may arise in
Australia or regionally.
"This week is our maximum
capacity, and probably the busiest
we've been since Operation Padang
Assist," WGCDR Chris Hersey, XO-
Maintenance of 37SQN, said.
The busy pace has not been
restricted to the air. On the ground
at RAAF Base Richmond, 37SQN is
undergoing changes to make itself
a more sustainable unit.
As the first Air Force unit to
be selected for change under the
Strategic Reform Program, 37SQN
will evolve to become a more sus-
tainable force for operations.
Meanwhile, the Enhanced Land
Force project is yielding new and
refurbished facilities for 37SQN
across the base.
OC 86WG GPCAPT Richard
Lennon said 37SQN epitomised
the Air Lift Group mission, "To fly
important people and stuff to tough
places, on time."
PRINGING INTO LIFE: Above, loadmaster
WOFF Murray George watches as the C-130
tarts up in preparation for its travel to Air
Warrior II, while left, LAC Ashley Condon and
CPL James Hutchinson prepare to board the
Photos: AC Christopher Hall
UP AND AWAY: One of the C-130Js takes off at RAAF Base Richmond, loaded with equipment and personnel
bound for Exercise Air Warrior II.
Photo: LAC Michael Green
Hercs head to
the Deep South
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