On special request by the US and Iraqi governments the Royal Australian Air Force sent a Air Task Group to Southwest Asia. Mission: to fight – and thereby stop and degrade – in Iraq the offensive of the so-called Islamic State forces known in the west by their abbreviations in English: ISIS and ISIL – or Daech in French.
Six (plus 2 in reserve back home) Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets, an Airbus KC-30A tanker/airlifter, a Boeing E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C plus 400 RAAF personnel joined a RAAF Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules and Boeing C-17A Globemaster III already deployed for humanitarian aid flights and logistic purposes to Al Minhad Airbase in the United Arab Emirates. The Australians have dubbed their contribution Operation Okra.
The additional combat part of the RAAF Air Task Group (ATG) completed its first operational missions over Iraq on 1 October 2014. The first four Super Hornets followed on 5 October, flying combat air patrol missions in pairs in Iraqi skies. In the night from 8 to 9 October two F/A-18Fs dropped their first ordnance on a ISIS compound: either a JDAM or a GBU-12.
Although a lot remains unseen, how the Royal Australian Air Force wages war against ISIS comes a bit to light thanks to nice photography by RAAF personnel, both on the ground at Al Minhad as well as in the skies over Iraq. We at Airheadsfly.com couldn’t wait to share their work and say thanks to Corporal Max Bree and the sergeants Hamish Paterson, Andrew Eddie and Mick Davis for capturing the view from their “office”.