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Top End welcomes F-22 Raptors

Top End welcomes F-22 Raptors

The advanced fighter aircraft have arrived in Australia to participate in a joint military exercise.

The advanced fighter aircraft have arrived in Australia to participate in a joint military exercise.

United States Air Force (USAF) F-22 Raptor aircraft have arrived in the Northern Territory to take part in the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) program.

The aircraft touched down in RAAF Base Tindal in preparation for several weeks of military training activities during the EAC program.

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The program, which commenced in 2017, aims to further enhance interoperability between Australia the United States.

This builds on previous joint training activities, which recently included the deployment of B-1 Lancer aircraft from RAAF Base Darwin and B-2 Spirit Stealth Bombers from RAAF Base Amberley.

Air Vice-Marshal Darren Goldie, Air Commander Australia, noted the importance of enhancing bilateral defence ties as part of the United States Force Posture Initiative.

“It is testament to how well our two Air Forces assimilate, that these incredible aircraft are able to visit our bases and utilise our infrastructure and support services, so we can all train closely with one another,” AVM Goldie added.

AVM Goldie went on to welcome USAF counterparts to the Top End.

“Dry season in the Northern Territory is always a busy time for our Air Force, as you just cannot beat the training opportunities our ranges in the Top End present,” he said.

“I welcome the visiting United States personnel and hope they get as much out of working with us as we do with them.

“It is always an exciting opportunity to be able to work with and integrate with such a capable aircraft.”

The EAC program coincides with Exercise Pitch Black, which involves over 100 aircraft and 2,500 personnel from 17 different nations.

The exercise is designed to enhance interoperability and defence relationships between the participating nations.

Participants include Australia, France, Germany, Canada, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, New Caledonia, the Philippines and the Netherlands.

The exercise is scheduled to run from the 19th of August to the 8th of September.

[Related: Exercise Pitch Black kicks off in the Northern Territory]

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