Saturday, June 17, 2017

Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Lockheed C-130H Hercules NZ7005 touches down at Rockhampton Airport

It appears preparations for Talisman Sabre 2017 is at the initial stages of ramping up with Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Lockheed C-130H Hercules NZ7005 touching down at Rockhampton Airport from RNZAF Base Ohakea on Saturday, 17 June.

Transporting personnel and supporting equipment across the Tasman, NZ7005 is expected to remain parked for the evening and depart back to New Zealand on Sunday, 18 June.

Of interest, New Zealand's participation in 'TS17' will be the second occasion the kiwi's have joined what has traditionally only been a joint Australian-US military exercise. New Zealand's first participation was during 'TS15', the same year the Japanese Self Defence Force (JSDF) transported personnel to Australia to gain valuable experience in the high-tempo wargame.

Talisman Saber is primarily conducted to improve combat training, readiness and interoperability across a wide spectrum of military activities and reflects the closeness of the Australian / US alliance and ongoing military - military relationship. 
Additionally, Talisman Saber forms part of the extensive training program for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to ensure the Australian military is prepared to protect and support the nation and national interests.

Among a number of other exercises throughout the region and further beyond, Talisman Saber also contributes towards the ability for Australian and US military forces to work together safely yet efficiently.


Also believed to have arrived in Central Queensland and berthed at Gladstone is New Zealand's Multi-Role Vessel (MRV), HMNZS Canterbury. While unconfirmed at the time of posting, we anticipate the ship may have transported helicopters (possibly a pair of NH90's) to the region that will also participate in 'TS17'.

During 'TS15', Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) NHIndustries NH90 NZ3303 and NZ3304 were ferried to Gladstone aboard Canterbury and then flown the short distance to Rockhampton (pictured) where they were based for the duration of the wargames.

Featured below are some fantastic photo's of NZ3303 and NZ3304 captured at Rockhampton Airport by Phil Munsel Photography during 'TS15'.