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Air Force and Navy coordinate for Exercise Tasman Shield

A Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II conducts a flypast over HMAS Sydney during Exercise Tasman Shield 2023. Photo: LSIS Susan Mossop.

The Australian Defence Force has conducted simulated air-maritime integrated missions off the east coast of Australia for Exercise Tasman Shield.

The Australian Defence Force has conducted simulated air-maritime integrated missions off the east coast of Australia for Exercise Tasman Shield.

The Royal Australian Air Force from RAAF Bases Edinburgh, Amberley, and Williamtown cooperated with the Royal Australian Navy’s HMA Ships Hobart and Sydney in the exercise from 17 March to 3 April.

Aircraft included F-35A Lightning II, F/A-18F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, E-7A Wedgetail, P-8A Poseidon, KC-30A multi-role tanker transport, Hawk 127 lead-in fighter, and No. 3 Control and Reporting Unit.

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Air Commodore Peter Robinson, Commander Air Combat Group and Officer Conducting the Exercise, said Tasman Shield was an important opportunity for the Air Force and Navy to enhance their joint effectiveness.

“Exercise Tasman Shield 23 provided both complex and realistic scenarios in order to challenge and develop understanding of air-maritime integration,” AIRCDRE Robinson said.

“The involvement of the Royal Australian Navy’s HMA Ships Hobart and Sydney were critical for developing and validating air-maritime integrated tactics, techniques, and procedures.

“The complexity of the flying was an excellent opportunity for our people to further develop their skills in providing air power as part of the joint force — critical to our Air Force mission.”

Navy’s Commodore Flotillas, Commodore Paul O’Grady, said the exercise was a valuable opportunity to practise and refine Navy-Air Force integration.

“Our ability to work together as a joint force, both in the air and on the waves, is critical to our ability to fight and win at sea,” CDRE O’Grady said.

“HMA Ships Sydney and Hobart delivered significant air warfare capabilities to the exercise, including forward deployed command and control effects for airborne assets.

“Tasman Shield has progressed our ability to provide a counter air capability at sea, as well as expanding our understanding of how to best use our integrated Navy and Air Force assets to jointly control the battlespace.”

Robert Dougherty

Robert Dougherty

Robert is a senior journalist who has previously worked for Seven West Media in Western Australia, as well as Fairfax Media and Australian Community Media in New South Wales. He has produced national headlines, photography and videography of emergency services, business, community, defence and government news across Australia. Robert graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Public Relations and Journalism at Curtin University, attended student exchange program with Fudan University and holds Tier 1 General Advice certification for Kaplan Professional. Reach out via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via LinkedIn.
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