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May 23, 2013
TWO AP-3C Orion aircraft hunted Navy
submarine HMAS Dechaineux in the
South China Sea as part of Exercise
Bersama Shield 2013.
Operating out of RMAF Base
Butterworth, the exercise was conducted
between Singapore and the Malaysian
Peninsula from April 8-18, marking the
42nd anniversary of ADF involvement
in Five Powers Defence Arrangement
Australia was the only nation to
deploy a submarine in support of
Bersama Shield, which provided a wor-
thy target for hunting practice for the
two Orions from RAAF Base Edinburgh.
Although there was close liaison
between 92WG and HMAS Dechaineux
before the exercise, the silent underwater
foe provided a challenging opportunity
for both surface and air anti-submarine
warfare platforms, including the AP-3Cs
and HMNZS Te Mana.
92WG exercise detachment com-
mander SQNLDR Jesse Laroche said
their participation was a great success
as they were able to "test exercise inter-
operability, capability expansion and
communication between the Five Power
Defence Arrangement nations".
For the crew of HMAS Dechaineux,
Bersama Shield provided an opportunity
to practice the "hide and seek" of subma-
rine warfare in busy waterways, conduct-
ing simulated attacks on surface ships
from Malaysian, Singaporean and New
The AP-3Cs flew seven sorties during
the exercise, allowing the crews to hone
their skills in a complex multinational
exercise environment involving naval
and air forces.
"The exercise enhanced the strength
of relationships of participating nations,
especially with the aircraft and support
personnel operating from RMAF Base
Butterworth," SQNLDR Laroche said.
In addition to the AP-3Cs, RAAF
liaison officers deployed to Butterworth
to assist with the exercise.
FIGHTERWORLD at Williamtown is
now the proud owner of a retired
Departing RAAF Base Amberley
by road convoy on May 4, the F-111,
designated A8-148, arrived at its new
home the next day.
Over the 900km journey, the
convoy stopped in towns including
Goondiwindi, Moree and Singleton.
The F-111 was delivered to the
RAAF in December 1973. In 2006,
it was one of four F-111s involved
in sinking the seized freighter Pong
Su, which was at the centre of a drug
smuggling operation, off Jervis Bay
using laser-guided bombs.
The F-111 flew its final flight on
November 23, 2010, and was official-
ly retired on December 3 that year.
Fighterworld lands Pig
LOOKING, LOOKING: A 92WG
Orion searches for HMAS
Dechaineux, inset, in the South
China Sea during Exercise
Bersama Shield 2013.
NEW HOME: SGT Paul Denley, of the F-111
Disposal Project team, guides the F-111C
into the Fighterworld hangar; below left,
the aircraft is unloaded; below right, team
members reassemble the aircraft.
Photos: CPL Mark McConnell
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