US Air Force combat transport aircraft are set to take to the skies above NSW as part of a bilateral military exercise.
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Australian and United States military personnel have commenced Exercise Teak Action 22 — a joint exercise based out of RAAF Base Richmond, NSW.
This training aims to strengthen ties between the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the United States Air Force’s (USAF) 353rd Special Operations Wing, deployed from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.
This is designed to improve joint humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations at short notice, testing the ability to deliver people and equipment in challenging scenarios.
As part of the exercise, the USAF’s MC-130J Commando II combat transport aircraft are expected to conduct flying activities over Western Sydney, the Blue Mountains, RAAF Base Williamtown and parts of central NSW.
The activities are to resemble training operations performed by RAAF Hercules aircraft at regional airfields throughout the year, including day and night-time flying at low level.
Exercise Teak Action 22 is the fourth iteration conducted from RAAF Base Richmond since 2018.
This air domain exercise coincides with Exercise Pitch Black, which is set to involve 100 aircraft and 2,500 military personnel from 17 nations.
The counterparts are set to engage in aircraft training in the Top End from 19 August to 8 September.
Touted as the RAAF’s most significant international engagement activity, Exercise Pitch Black aims to develop and enhance military relationships.
The three-week multinational large force employment exercise will be conducted primarily from RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal.
This year’s iteration would also involve operations out of RAAF Base Amberley.
Activities are expected to include day and night flying involving approximately 100 participating aircraft.
Both Exercise Teak Action and Exercise Pitch Black follow Exercise Koolendong 2022, which involved over 2,200 personnel from the ADF and US Armed Forces.
The three-week-long combined arms littoral combat scenario, which was led by the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D), took place at Yampi Sound Training Area and RAAF Base Curtin in Western Australia as well as Mount Bundey Training Area in the Northern Territory.
Training drills aimed to build interoperability through a joint response to a simulated regional crisis.
[Related: ADF, US forces wrap-up Exercise Koolendong]