Poseidon completes first and final mission in Middle East

A Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon aircraft has returned home to Australia after completing its final Middle East mission in support of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC).

CAPTION: A RAAF P-8A Poseidon takes off on a mission from Australia’s main operating base in the Middle East Region. Photo by Leading Seaman Craig Walton.

The aircraft arrived in the Middle East on 15 October for a one-month deployment.

When the aircraft deployed, Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the deployment would support freedom of navigation in the region.

“The P-8A’s advanced surveillance capabilities will provide a modest but meaningful contribution,” Minister Reynolds said.

“The P-8A will work alongside our coalition partners to ensure the safe passage of merchant vessels through the region, boost security and provide an advanced maritime patrol and surveillance capability.”

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This was the first time the P-8A Poseidon had operated in the Middle East and, during 12 sorties, completed around 100 flying hours.

A Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate will deploy to the Middle East in January 2020 for approximately six months, in support of Australia’s contribution to the IMSC – the 68th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy vessel in the region since 1990.

The frigate’s return to the Middle East next year will end an unusual break in patrolling.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was published on the Australian Defence Force in the Middle East Facebook page today as an after return-to-Australia report. However, the photo, which we found on the Defence Image Library, is dated 27 October – less than half way through the deployment – but containing the same after-deployment information in its metadata. Therefore – either, the final record of ’12 missions and 100 flying hours’ was a prediction – or, the photo wasn’t published until the mission ended, with up-to-date info embedded . Either way, the mismatch between photo date and information date renders the photo/caption misleading – thereby casting even more doubt on the reliability and historical accuracy of Defence information generally. Such is the nature of ‘fact’ reporting by the Australian Defence Force these days.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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