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AIR Force experienced winter cold
when leading C-130J operators recent-
ly congregated in Norway for Exercise
Combined Strength 11.
A 37SQN C-130J, along with a
contingent of 15 Air Force personnel,
journeyed to Bodø Air Force Base in
Combined Strength 11 was held
from March 19 to 25.
C-130J operators from Denmark,
Australia, and the host nation took
part.The exercise is an opportunity for
members of the C-130J User Group
to meet and share information on how
the aircraft is operated.
Situated inside the Arctic Circle,
Bodø Air Force Base was a key loca-
tion for NATO during the Cold War
and will provide a unique opportu-
nity for Australians to experience cold
This experience is important when
Defence tasks take the C-130J far
Commander Air Lift Group
AIRCDRE Gary Martin said our
C-130s flew from Australia to as far
as the US, Sweden, throughout South
East Asia, and the Pacific last year.
"At the same time, we remained
committed to operations in the
Middle East Area of Operations," he
"There, our C-130 crews face con-
ditions that run from below freezing
in Afghanistan to above 50 degrees
Celsius in United Arab Emirates."
"The diversity in our operating
environment makes participating in
Exercise Combined Strength 11 all
the more important."
Australia became the second
C-130J operator in 1999, which gives
it considerable corporate knowledge
on the aircraft.
An increasing number of air forces
are ordering the latest generation of
the airlifter, with Canada and Norway
also having recently joined the fold.
"The Australian contingent was
there [in Norway] to deliver presenta-
tions on our training structure, which
includes how we develop and prepare
our aircrew and maintenance profes-
"They also participated in flying
exercises that included search and
rescue practice, day and night-time
operations, airdrop missions and cold
weather survival," AIRCDRE Martin
A wrap-up of Exercise Combined
Strength will appear in the next edition
of Air Force News.
CHILLY RECEPTION: A 37SQN C-130J at Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan in winter. Despite the cold in
Norway, participants in Exercise Combined Strength shared operator experiences with the other participants.
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