Home' Air Force News : March 17th 2011 Contents 3
March 17, 2011
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THE fleet at 36SQN could grow, with
the possibility of a fifth C-17A being
procured for Air Force.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith
made the announcement at a media
conference on March 1 during the
Australian International Airshow
at Avalon. He was joined by CAF
AIRMSHL Mark Binskin and
Minister for Defence Materiel Jason
Mr Smith said a letter of request
was sent to the US Government for
details on cost and availability of an
Following receipt of this informa-
tion, our government would make a
decision about a purchase based on
capability, cost and schedule assess-
ments of an additional C-17A.
If secured, the aircraft would
be purchased via the US Foreign
Military Sales program, similar to
how Australia's four existing C-17As
The extra C-17A would make
a welcome addition to an Air Lift
Group fleet which has delivered on
vital short notice deployments across
Australia and overseas.
"Recent events in Queensland
and Christchurch have underlined
the C-17As as an essential part of
Australia's capacity to respond
to natural disasters both within
Australia and within our region," Mr
"While disaster relief has been
a recent public focus for C-17A
operations, they continue to support
Australian and International Security
Assistance Forces in Afghanistan and
the Middle East, meeting their pri-
mary purpose in providing military
long-range heavy airlift."
He said acquisition of an addi-
tional C-17A would almost certainly
alleviate the need for the acquisition
of two additional C-130J-30 aircraft
under project AIR 8000 Phase 1.
The current fleet of four C-17As
was announced in March 2006, and
the first was delivered in December
that year. The fleet was delivered
ahead of schedule and under budget
by March 2008.
Boeing's C-17A production line
at Long Beach in California has pro-
duced more than 225 C-17As since
1991. The last C-17A is planned to
roll off the production line in 2013.
While the US has about 200
C-17As, the air forces of the United
Kingdom, Canada, Qatar, Australia
and a combined NATO force have all
purchased their own C-17As.
Further deliveries to India,
Kuwait and the United Arab
Emirates are expected.
Prospect of five
SUPPORT to Operation Christchurch
Assist has continued with 36SQN flying
more missions to the earthquake-ravaged
city.A C-17A returned to RAAF Base
Richmond on March 4 carrying 75
members of an Urban Search and
Rescue (USAR) team and their equip-
ment, which had been deployed to New
Zealand shortly after the disaster.
The following day, a C-17A departed
the Australian International Air Show
at Avalon to transport additional USAR
teams and their equipment between
Australia and New Zealand.
An further two flights to New
Zealand came on March 7 and 8, when
a C-17A delivered a portable desalina-
tion plant. The missions for Operation
Christchurch Assist come as 36SQN
is engaged with support to Operation
Slipper in the Middle East, routine train-
ing and operations at home, and sched-
uled maintenance activity on its aircraft.
HERCULES crews from 37SQN
are returning from the world's most
complicated air combat exercise.
Exercise Red Flag 11-3 was held
from February 21 to March 11 and
featured an 88-strong contingent
supporting two C-130Hs, which
flew tactical airlift missions for the
Joint terminal attack controllers
from 4SQN, along with members
of Army's 2 Commando Regiment,
also worked on the ground to desig-
nate and attack targets.
A range of American combat air-
craft participated in the exercise,
including F-22A and B-2A stealths,
F-16 and F-15 Aggressor fighters,
and E/A-18G Growler electronic
A full wrap of Exercise Red Flag 11-3
will feature in the next Air Force News.
More help for
BIG FUTURE: Defence Minister Stephen Smith, flanked by CAF AIRMSHL Mark Binskin and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare,
announces the prospect of a fifth C-17A at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon. Forming the backdrop is a US Globemaster on
display at the airshow.
Photo: CPL Steve Duncan
Photo: Eamon Hamilton
Ex Red Flag
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