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Aero India 2023

RAAF's 'Precision Red' begins at Base Townsville


RAAF's C-130J Hercules

NEW DELHI (BNS): The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) exercise 'Precision Red' is underway at Base Townsville.

The exercise, modeled on the RAAF's experiences in the Middle East Area of operations, began from June 25 and will be held till July 11.

Two C-130J Hercules will take part in the exercise flying to a number of airfields in the Shoalwater Bay and Townsville Field Training areas, a statement by Australian Department of Defence said.

Squadron Leader Shane Peacey, a Qualified Flying Instructor on the C-130J Hercules, said the exercise is a final test for Hercules crews before they fly in the Middle East Area of Operations.

“Everyone will draw on their collective training to ensure the missions are conducted safely and effectively, using the tactics and methods that we employ on operations,” he said.

A robust and advanced tactical transport, the C-130J Hercules can carry up to 128 personnel or up to 20 tonnes of cargo to remote, unsurfaced airfields.

The RAAF has achieved 20,000 flying hours on different C-130 types in the Middle East since they began a continuous deployment there in February 2003.

“The Hercules is crucial to the Australian Defence Force when it’s deployed on the frontline, which makes our practice during Exercise Precision Red all the more important in supporting our flying during operations,” Peacey said.

Squadron Leader John Absolon said a concurrent activity, Exercise Precision Support, would deliver a deployed headquarters at RAAF Base Townsville and three working remote airfields in the training area.

“It will take a multitude of skillsets to make Exercise Precision Support work – everything from airfield engineering and air load teams to communications and airfield infrastructure, as well as health, logistics, and information support,” he said.

Joint Battlefield Airspace Controllers will also safely direct air traffic in the exercise areas. Of the 485 participants in Exercise Precision Red and Precision Support, approximately 292 will be in the field, according to the statement.

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