The Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Australian Navy have participated in Exercise Tasman Shield 21, conducting simulated air-maritime integrated missions on the east coast of Australia, from 22 February to 12 March 2021.
CAPTION: A Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning conducts a flypast over HMAS Hobart during Exercise Tasman Shield 21 off the east coast of Australia. Photo by Petty officer Brendan Matchett.
Aircraft from RAAF Bases Tindal, Edinburgh, Amberley and Williamtown worked closely with Navy’s HMAS Hobart to enhance and promote interoperability.
RAAF’s contribution to the exercise included E-7A Wedgetail, P-8A Poseidon, KC-30A multi-role tanker transport, F-35A Lightning II, F/A-18F Super Hornet, F/A-18 ‘classic’ Hornet, EA-18G Growler, Hawk 127 and a number of supporting ground personnel.
Commander Air Combat Group and Officer Conducting the Exercise Air Commodore Tim Alsop said Exercise Tasman Shield 21 provided important training outcomes for RAAF and Navy.
“Exercise Tasman Shield 21 provided focused training opportunities for the Royal Australian Air Force personnel to develop, practise and consolidate air-maritime integrated tactics, techniques and procedures with the Royal Australian Navy’s destroyer HMAS Hobart,” Air Commodore Alsop said.
“It was an excellent opportunity for our people to participate in realistic scenarios and provide air power as part of the joint force.”
Commodore Flotillas, Commodore Michael Harris said the exercise was a valuable opportunity to train and further develop Navy’s integration with RAAF.
“Air-maritime integration is an integral part of Navy’s ability to fight and win at sea.
“Tasman Shield tests our adeptness in counter-air capability as well as our ability to exploit both navy and air force assets for joint control of our battlespace,” he said.