Home' Air Force News : April 28th 2011 Contents 7
April 28, 2011
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A 37SQN crew has made the longest
journey by an Australian C-130J -- to
the Norwegian city of Bodø, inside the
Travelling there in March for
Exercise Combined Strength 11, the
crew made six stops across the Pacific
and Atlantic Oceans, as well as North
America and Europe.
At Bodø, a 15-strong RAAF con-
tingent was joined by foreign C-130J
operators from March 19 to 25 to
share their experiences of using the
aircraft. However, events in Libya
forced other Air Forces to deploy their
C-130Js on operations during the exer-
cise.37SQN pilot FLTLT Christian
Yates-Round said on the day of their
arrival, the Danish pulled their aircraft
out, followed by the Norwegians a few
In spite of this, observers from
Norway, Denmark, the US and Canada
remained at Bodø to fly with the
Key among this was learning to
operate the C-130J in extreme cold-
weather conditions. Maintainers arriv-
ing at the aircraft each morning found
the C-130J covered in snow and frost,
with drifts piled as high as the propel-
Valuable lessons were taken from
Norwegian crews on how to use the
C-130J in such adverse conditions.
"Flying in these conditions proved
all in a day's work for the Norwegians,
but presented a challenge for the
Australians," FLTLT Yates-Round said.
SQNLDR Wright, B-Flight
Commander at 37SQN, applauded the
RAAF contingent and its aircraft in
getting to Norway.
"The aircraft completed the trip
without issue, despite being subjected
to conditions ranging from sub-trop-
ical humidity to frozen extremes in
the space of three weeks," SQNLDR
"Our participation in Combined
Strength 11 contributed significantly to
the unit's corporate knowledge of cold
weather operations, and will assist us
in improving our procedures."
During the exercise, a successful
trial of extreme cold-weather cloth-
ing was conducted in conditions that
reached -10 degrees Celsius, with a
windchill factor taking it to -20
Australian search and rescue meth-
ods were demonstrated in an exercise
mission with the Norwegian Coast
Guard in a fjord near Bodø. The
37SQN crew demonstrated delivery of
an air-sea rescue kit and compact res-
cue system to observers. Tactical exer-
cises were flown to Lillehammer and
Andoya, but flying was cut short as an
Arctic winter storm brought winds of
up to 60 knots and reduced visibility
down to 100 metres -- all part of the
FLTLT John Eggins, an engineer
with 84WG, said they learnt much
from their partners on how to operate
"We also discussed opportunities to
share operational test and evaluation
on the aircraft with other Air Forces,"
"That included cooperating on
future block upgrades for the C-130J."
Next year's Combined Strength can
expect to be a similarly chilly affair,
with Canada as the host nation.
Going to extremes
SNOW GO ZONE: A 37SQN
C-130J on the flightline at Bodø
Air Base in Norway during
Exercise Combined Strength 11.
Photo: SGT Daniel Cividin
COLD COMFORT: Above, from left, CPLs Chris
Robinson and Matthew Webber and SGT Jason
West brave an arctic storm while working on the
flightline at Bodø Air Base. Left, SGT West clears
snow from an oil filter intake of a 37SQN C-130J
while rugged up.
Photos: SGT Daniel Cividin
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