A Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules from No. 37 Squadron taxies back to its parking position on the flightline at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, following a mission during Exercise Red Flag 15-1 (Image © Mr Eamon Hamilton / Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)

Australian Props in Red Flag combat

For the first time ever the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) participates in the multi-national, US hosted large-scale combat exercise Red Flag with its Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules and a Lockheed AP-3C Orion.

Having committed its fighter jets before the RAAF is keen on exposing its large propeller plane crews to a modern war scenario. “There are few training environments in the world that recreate the dangers of a modern battlespace like Exercise Red Flag,” RAAF’s Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Turnbull says in an Australian Defence Force’s press release.

Two C-130J Hercules from RAAF Base Richmond (NSW), an AP-3C Orion from RAAF Base Edinburgh (SA) and an Air Battle Management contingent from 41 Wing are participating in the Red Flag 2015-1, alongside combat aircraft from the United States and the United Kingdom. As many of our readers know, base of operations is Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.

A F-15C Eagle (background) from the United States Air Force 65th Aggressor Squadron taxies past a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion from No. 10 Squadron (foreground) on the flightline at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, USA (Image ©  Mr Eamon Hamilton  / Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
A F-15C Eagle (background) from the United States Air Force 65th Aggressor Squadron taxies past a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion from No. 10 Squadron (foreground) on the flightline at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, USA (Image © Eamon Hamilton / Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)

“Day-time and night-time missions at Red Flag will require large numbers of aircraft to work together across a variety of roles to defeat threats. The dangers they face range from aggressor F-15 and F-16 fighters and simulated missile shots, through to electronic warfare and cyberspace attacks,” Vice-Marshal Turnbull adds.

While the Hercules’s will train in tactical airlift flying in a war zone, the AP-3C Orion crew will focus on overland surveillance of the combat area. The Nevada desert ranges are even somewhat similar to the current environment the RAAF is facing in real-life over the Middle East fighting ISIS in Iraq. Moreover, the RAAF crews deployed to Nellis bring along experience from Operation Slipper over Afghanistan.

Exercise Red Flag 15-1 continues until 13 February 2015, with 150 RAAF personnel participating.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, based on source information provided by Australia, Department of Defence
Featured image (top): A RAAF C-130J Hercules at Nellis during Exercise Red Flag 15-1 (Image © Eamon Hamilton / Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)

Related: ↑ Photo Essay: RAAF wages war against ISIS
AND ↑ Photo Special: RAAF Hornets during Red Flag 14-1

A Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules from No. 37 Squadron taxies back to its parking position on the flightline at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, following a mission during Exercise Red Flag 15-1 (Image ©  Mr Eamon Hamilton  / Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
A Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules from No. 37 Squadron taxies back to its parking position on the flightline at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, following a mission during Exercise Red Flag 15-1 (Image © Eamon Hamilton / Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
A Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules from No. 37 Squadron conducts an 'initial and pitch' bank over Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, following a mission during Exercise Red Flag 15-1 (Image ©  Mr Eamon Hamilton  / Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
A Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules from No. 37 Squadron conducts an ‘initial and pitch’ bank over Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, following a mission during Exercise Red Flag 15-1 (Image © Eamon Hamilton / Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)