Friday, July 24, 2015

Exercise Hamel / Talisman Saber 2015 - The final post

There is no doubt that the past month or so has been a hive of activity at Rockhampton Airport with many and varying types of military aircraft and helicopters coming and going on an almost daily basis in support of Exercise Hamel and Talisman Saber 2015 at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).

With the joint military exercises coming to an end last weekend, the logistics haul has been in full swing this week bringing to Central Queensland a number of movements by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III and Lockheed C-130J Hercules as well as Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Lockheed C-130H Hercules and Boeing 757-200 aircraft as equipment and personnel are shipped-out.

Defantly among the highlights at Rockhampton Airport this year was the temporary basing of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron A45-253 and A45-262. For the first time, a recently signed memorandum of agreement between Airservices Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) cleared the way for the remote piloted Heron's to be used in Australian civil airspace.

Until the MoA, operation of the Heron in Australia had been restricted to military airspace only.

Additionally, and for the first time, the Japan Self Defence Force (JSDF) and the Royal New Zealand Defence Force (RNZDF) participated in the biennial joint Australia - US military exercise, Talisman Saber, with much of the event also played out in the Northern Territory.

While fortunate to make a couple of trips to Rockhampton to capture some of the activity myself, Air Queensland.blogspot has been privileged to have support by local planespotters Ash Burggraaff and Phil Munsel Photography, and would like to take a moment to sincerely thank them both for their generosity for allowing us to share so many wonderful photo's captured at the beef capital in recent weeks.
All photo's kindly contributed by Ash Burggraaff and Phil Munsel Photography.