Two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft have completed their first armed combat mission over Iraq, assisting coalition operations against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The Super Hornet aircraft, conducted an Air Interdiction and Close Air Support mission over northern Iraq overnight AEDT (5-6 October 2014).
The Super Hornets were on-call to attack targets as identified.
On this occasion the aircraft did not use their munitions and have returned to base to disarm and prepare for future sorties.
The Australian Air Task Group’s KC-30A multi-role tanker transport supported the Super Hornets while the E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft also flew over Iraq.
The flights were completed without incident and all aircraft have returned safely to Australia’s main support base in the Middle East.
The Australian Air Task Group is operating as part of an Iraqi Government-approved and US-led international coalition assembled to disrupt and degrade ISIL.
Australian Special Forces await Iraqi government approval to commence advice and assist operations in Iraq.
Australia’s efforts are in response to a request for assistance by the Iraqi Government in combating ISIL terrorists.
1) A team of Royal Australian Air Force Armament Technicians work around a RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet to load explosive ordnance in the Middle East.
2) A Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F Super Hornet Air Combat Officer performs pre-flight checks on a GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) on his aircraft.
3) A Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F Super Hornet Air Combat Officer fits his helmet prior to the first combat mission in Iraq.
4) Two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18F Super Hornets follow a RAAF KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport along a taxiway to commence a mission in Iraq.
5) The crew of a Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F Super Hornet on the taxiway prior to their first combat mission in Iraq.
6) A Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F Super Hornet loaded with explosive ordnance departs Australia’s main base in the Middle East for its first combat mission in Iraq.
Three Royal Australian air force F/A-18 Hornets assigned to No. 77 Squadron, RAAF Base Williamtown soar over Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., prior to landing at the end of a Red Flag 14-1 training mission Feb. 4, 2014. Red Flag offers U.S. and coalition service members realistic combat training and is typically held three times a year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Kleinholz/Released)