Home' Air Force News : July 22nd 2010 Contents 6
July 22, 2010
NEARLY 500 Air Force personnel
have deployed to North Queensland in
support of Exercise Precision Red 1/10.
Held in late June to early July,
Exercises Precision Red and Precision
Support focused their efforts across the
Shoalwater Bay and Townsville Field
A total of 485 personnel deployed
for the exercises, with 292 of these out
in the field.
It recreated the conditions of
deployment found in theatres such as
the Middle East, readying personnel
for the pressures faced abroad.
The exercises also reaffirmed Air
Force's ability to activate remote air-
fields and support them using combat
A pair of C-130Js were operated
out of RAAF Base Townsville for two
weeks, with their focus on the training
of C-130J aircrew.
Aircrew converting or returning
to the C-130J finish Precision Red
qualified to operate the aircraft in the
It's the final step of their training
with 285SQN before they post in to a
frontline flying role with 37SQN.
Precision Red missions could
last up to 12 hours, involving the use
of night-vision goggles and landing
on austere airstrips, while avoiding
attacks from enemy ground parties.
Despite the trying conditions in the
VIGILANT: Above, 2AFDS
ADGs take up position having
disembarked a C-130J at Benning
Field airstrip in Townsville during
Exercise Precision Red.
IN CONTROL: Left, Joint Air
Battlespace Controller FLTLT Bill
Todd controls air traffic at Benning
Field airstrip during an exercise
mission, while below, 37SQN pilot
FLTLT Mitchell Beck maps his
course. Photos: LAC Michael Clark
field, the latest Precision Red achieved
a 100 per cent mission success rate.
Precision Red director SQNLDR
Shane Peacey said all members drew
on their collective training to make the
exercise a success.
"The Hercules is crucial to the
ADF when it's deployed on the front-
line, which makes our practice during
Exercise Precision Red all the more
important in supporting our flying
during operations," SQNLDR Peacey
said.As an air mobility asset, the
Hercules is only as effective as the
base it lands at. Exercise Precision
Support, run in conjunction with
Precision Red, sought to focus Combat
Support Group (CSG) elements which
activated the airfields for the C-130s.
In the past, combat support has
been run under the Precision Red ban-
ner, almost solely focused on support-
ing Hercules operations.
This largely consisted of air load
teams coordinating cargo and person-
nel for the aircraft.
The combat support role has
evolved to become Precision Support,
which activates remote airfields and
coordinates ground elements with the
It is a better reflection of the com-
bat support model applied in theatre
such as in the MEAO.
Precision Support director
SQNLDR Jack Absolon said it includ-
ed elements of CSG, 44WG, the Royal
New Zealand Air Force and United
States Air Force.
"The support provided on the exer-
cise were those capabilities required
for air operations, including air traffic
control, communications, air load per-
sonnel, security, firefighting, and med-
ical," SQNLDR Absolon said. "It's an
opportunity to demonstrate an appro-
priate level of air-land integration with
"Such integration is fundamental
to efficient and effective missions in a
THE latest rotation of the C-130
detachment to return home from
the MEAO has been recognised
by DCAF AVM Geoff Brown.
AVM Brown said the 37 mem-
bers' "flexibility, adaptability and
dedication to duty under difficult
circumstances contributed sig-
nificantly to effective operations
in the Middle East, particularly in
The detachment mem-
bers, mainly from RAAF Base
Richmond, completed 133 mis-
sions involving 349 sorties, lifting
6,924 passengers and approxi-
mately 1,170 metric tonnes of
cargo during their tour in the
The detachment also pro-
vided support to VIP visits and
completed other missions includ-
ing the movement of over 400
Afghan National Army soldiers.
Herc rotation returns home to high praise
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