The No. 82 Wing Training Flight (82TF) has been launched at RAAF Base Amberley. It will operate as a trial to deliver aircrew operational conversion training in the Super Hornet aircraft in Australia.
Commanding Officer of 82TF, 82 Wing Executive Officer Wing Commander Trevor Andrews, said the launch of the trial was an important milestone for Air Combat Group.
“Operational conversion training had been conducted with United States Navy since 2015,” WGCDR Andrews said.
“This program will enable No. 82 Wing to provide enduring aircrew training for the entire capability spectrum required for the F/A-18F.
“We expect significant advantages to be realised through an Australian-based operational conversion, such as improved delivery of Australian-trained aircrew back into the squadrons, increased standardisation, reduction in duplicate training overheads and increased alignment to Australian graduation requirements.
“The training will provide a sustainable flying training solution supported by six F/A-18F aircraft and a mixed maintenance workforce of contracted and uniformed members.
“The challenges of international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic have also meant the timing of the trial has been extremely beneficial for workforce sustainment and capability.”
No. 82 Wing is the strike and reconnaissance wing of the Royal Australian Air Force. It is headquartered at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland. Coming under the control of Air Combat Group, the wing operates F/A-18F Super Hornet multirole fighters and Pilatus PC-9 forward air control aircraft. Its units include No. 1 and No. 6 Squadrons, operating the Super Hornet, and No. 4 Squadron, operating the PC-9.
The F/A-18F Super Hornet is larger than the F/A-18A/B Hornet. The aircraft's increased wing area allows it to carry more stores (mounted devices) on its additional hardpoints.
The twin seat F/A-18F Super Hornet can undertake:
- air interception;
- air combat;
- close air support of ground troops; and
- interception of enemy supply lines including shipping.