Home' Air Force News : April 14th 2011 Contents Salary package your next car and take
advantage of our fleet discounts.
April 14, 2011
EXERCISE Red Flag was created to
prepare air forces for the rigours of
high-tempo, high-intensity air combat
But for the 35 maintenance per-
sonnel from 37SQN who supported
two C-130Hs at Red Flag 11-3
at Nellis Air Force in Nevada from
February 21 to March 11, that pace
was just business as usual.
SQNLDR Dave Dawson, Senior
Engineering Officer (Operations) for
37SQN, said the maintenance work-
force was based on what the squadron
would use for a Middle East deploy-
ment, where it would have to provide
two shifts to cover 24 hours.
"Our logistics and equipment per-
sonnel have to be fairly dexterous
when it comes to getting items from
back in Australia to the US at short
notice," SQNLDR Dawson said.
The Nevada Test and Training
NOT EVERY threat faced at Exer-
cise Red Flag 11-3 was physical.
Air forces were challenged with
how to operate in the cyber domain
during the exercise.
A contingent from 462SQN
worked with the US Air Force
(USAF) to plan and execute cyber
The contingent included an
intelligence officer, engineering
officer, communications informa-
tion systems controller and com-
munications electronics technician.
FLTLT Andrew McCarron, an
intelligence officer with 462SQN,
said it was the first time that a Red
Flag exercise had included the
While past Red Flags have fea-
tured some elements of cyber oper-
ations, this year involved fully inte-
grated information operations at the
tactical level from planning through
to execution and debrief.
This mirrored the actions that
could be expected in a real con-
flict, where exploiting the enemy's
information systems could yield a
massive impact on their ability to
Just as their airborne counter-
parts engaged aggressor units in
the exercise area, Red Flag's cyber
Blue Force was engaged in protect-
ing information systems and strik-
ing back at Red Force elements.
Members of 462SQN sat in a
special Non-Kinetic Operations cell
at the Combined Air Operations
Centre at Nellis, as well as provid-
ing Network Support at Lackland
Air Force Base in Texas.
462SQN's support to Red Flag
11-3 came as Australia and the US
cooperate more closely on infor-
mation operations. Six members
of 462SQN have been through the
USAF's Information Operations
Integration course, and both coun-
tries will exercise in this field
together at Exercise Talisman Saber
"It's a privilege to work with our
coalition partners to provide plan-
ning for cyber and electronic war-
fare," FLTLT McCarron said.
PRIVILEGED: FLTLTs Kate
Wright and Andrew McCarron
of 462SQN in front of an SA-6
'Gainful' Surface-to-Air Missile
system. Photo: Eamon Hamilton
Tackling the growing cyber threat
Range was a demanding flying environ-
ment for the C-130H and the crews as
they needed to manoeuvre at low level
and land on semi-prepared airstrips in
a high radar threat environment. The
environment required all systems on the
C-130H to be at optimum performance
for every sortie to ensure successful
With the C-130H in its 33rd year
of Australian service, the maintainers'
considerable knowledge of the plat-
form was key to the mission success
rate at Red Flag.
Post-mission feedback during the
exercise was provided by flight engi-
neers on how different systems per-
formed during each mission.
"The flight engineers have excel-
lent systems knowledge of these air-
craft, and a lot of them have been
on these aircraft for a long time,"
SQNLDR Dawson said.
The Hercules deployed with their
own Fly Away Kit (FAK) which
contained the critical spares for
parts most likely to need replac-
ing. The FAKs could not cover
all contingencies, however,
especially when ground support
equipment was needed to make
"We also utilised the
USAF (US Air Force) where
possible, especially with sup-
port equipment," SQNLDR
Repairs on the propeller of a
USAF HC-130 Combat Search
and Rescue Hercules from the 79th
Rescue Squadron (79RQS) meant
37SQN was able to give them the nec-
This was not the first time these
two units shared equipment and
ramp space. Two years ago, a trio of
HC-130s from 79RQS descended on
37SQN at RAAF Base Richmond for
Exercise Talisman Saber 09.
"It was a very reciprocal relation-
ship -- we loaned them stuff that they
didn't bring, and they responded in
One example was when last-
minute undercarriage repairs meant
37SQN had to borrow jacks to lift a
C-130H off the tarmac.
COMBAT READY: Technicians
CPL Jason Cox, LAC Kendel
Allmey and SGT Rick Recknell
walk back on the flightline at
Nellis Air Force Base.
Photo: Eamon Hamilton
GETTING A LIFT: Technicians
conduct maintenance on the
landing gear of a C-130H after
the aircraft was placed on jacks
during Exercise Red Flag.
Photo: Eamon Hamilton
One of the RAAF
from a training
mission over the
Nevada Test and
Photo: Senior Airman
Brett Clashman, USAF
EXERCISE RED FLAG
Links Archive March 31st 2011 April 28th 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page