Home' Air Force News : August 4th 2011 Contents EX TALISMAN SABRE 2011
August 4, 2011
FLTLT Baz Bardoe,
LEUT Peter Croce
and Eamon Hamilton
THE scale of the whole outfit was
One of the outstanding features
of an exercise like Talisman Sabre
2011 (TS11) was the opportunity
for RAAF personnel to work closely
with US forces in conventional high-
Between July 11 and 29, the US
Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines
transplanted almost 14,000 service
personnel to operate in Australia's
Gaining a mutual understanding
of each country's military works and
exploring their capabilities as a com-
bined joint task force was invaluable.
But TS11 also gave RAAF
personnel a rare chance to see US
high-end military hardware up front
Aircraft carrier USS George
Washington was a real eye-opener.
The 97,000 tonne aircraft carrier
is 333 metres long and 74 metres
high, and reaches up to 30 knots.
It carries a crew of 5000 and can
operate up to 80 strike jets from its
4.5 acre flight deck -- and operates
two television stations as well.
The Chief of Operations for
92WG, WGCDR Jason McHeyzer,
was one of a small team of RAAF
members attached to the carrier as
Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance
Aircraft liaison officer.
He was joined by a group of
More Talisman Sabre coverage next edition
Left, 81WG OPSO
a US Navy F/A-18
land on the USS
during a tour of the
Photo: SSGT Chad
Below, ACW Jenny
Remfrey, of 1AOSS,
assists US Navy
in sorting out the
used aboard the
Photo: CPL Mark
as part of an
VERSATILE: A US Navy aviation structural mechanic signals to
a C-2A Greyhound pilot as the aircraft taxis in after a re-supply
mission from the USS George Washington. Photo: CPL Mark McConnell
75SQN pilots aboard the carrier to
liaise with RAAF Base Tindal.
"Every day you could live below
decks and not see the sky, and not
know whether it's day or night,
WGCDR McHeyzer said.
"They change the colour of the
lights from white to red when they
go from day to night, but otherwise
you'd be clueless."
In spite of the day-night cycle,
carrier operations do not stop.
"Probably one of the most amaz-
ing experiences I had was standing
a few feet away from the Super
Hornet's wingtip as it was on full
afterburner about to take off at
night -- that overwhelms the senses,"
WGCDR McHeyzer said.
Keeping this many people fed, let
alone all the other logistical require-
ments, depends on the constant
activity of two very unusual Carrier
Onboard Delivery (COD) aircraft.
At RAAF Base Darwin, local units
synched with US Air Force and Navy
logistics and personnel management,
while flying units worked closely
A pair of C-2A Greyhound COD
aircraft were detached to RAAF
Base Darwin for the exercise.
RAAF Air Movements person-
nel helped the COD detachment,
providing a range of services includ-
ing freight logistics and passenger
USN C-2A pilot LEUT Brett
Cameron said the Greyhound was a
"We do logistical missions,"
LEUT Cameron said. "We can take
passengers, cargo and mail to the
boat or whatever else it wants. We
can do side missions such as para-
chute drops and Search and Rescue
TUHQ-East, under the command
of GPCAPT Ted Prencel, directed
air missions in support of activity in
the Shoalwater Bay Training Area.
This included airborne operations
from American C-17As flying non-
stop from Alaska; a combined air-
drop of zodiac boats and troops from
Australian and American C-130s;
and combined maritime surveillance
from Australian and American Orion
Close air support from the RAAF
was also provided by F/A-18F Super
Hornets of 1SQN and Hawk 127s of
Impressive high-end hardware comes out to play
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