The visiting US Air Force F-22 Raptors have commenced training with the Royal Australian Air Force’s F/A-18 Hornets for the first enhanced air co-operation activity in Australia.
The enhanced air co-operation is part of the United States Force posture initiatives and builds on a range of air exercises and training activities already undertaken by the United States and Australia.
Wing Commander Andrew Tatnell, Commanding Officer 17 Squadron, said the visiting aircraft are part of the fifth generation in fighter aircraft, and training with them will enhance the abilities of the RAAF.
"The F-22 is one of the world’s most advanced fifth generation fighter aircraft," said WGCDR Tatnell.
"Combined training activity will vastly enhance the Royal Australian Air Force’s ability to integrate with the United States Air Force’s fifth generation aircraft while introducing fifth generation operations to RAAF Base Tindal.
"The training is also important to the Royal Australian Air Force as the latest generation of aircraft and technology, including EA-18G Growler and F-35A Lightning II, come into service in the coming years."
It has been 75 years since the 90th Fighter Squadron and members of the 3rd Wing first integrated with the RAAF in the Northern Territory during World War II.
During their visit to Tindal, the F-22s will be supported by two USAF KC-135 refueller tankers, which will be based at RAAF Base Darwin.
The F-22s and F/A-18A/B Hornets will conduct defensive counter air missions and offensive counter air scenarios during the last two weeks of February.
The offensive counter air scenarios will be conducted near Delamere Weapons Range, Killarney Station, Dry Springs, Kid Springs and Victoria River Downs.
The F-22s and F/A-18A/B Hornets will also conduct short missions to RAAF Base Townsville as part of their combined training activities, as reported previously on Defence Connect.
Up to four F-22s will also fly down to Victoria to take part in the Australian International Airshow at Avalon, and will be on public display from 3-5 March.