RAAF C-27J flies into New Caledonia for HADR exercise

A Royal Australian Air Force C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter on the flightline at Shark Bay Airport, Western Australia.
File image of a C-27J Spartan. (Defence)

A C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter and 44 personnel from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will participate in Exercise Mhanuu 2017 in New Caledonia until November 24.

The exercise involves rehearsing regional humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) scenarios, Defence stated. The C-27J from 35 Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond will be operating in coordination with French aircraft.

Wing Commander Jarrod Pendlebury, commanding officer 35 Squadron, said that the exercise serves as a valuable training experience.

“We carry a tremendous amount of experience with HADR operations, and it is important to apply that knowledge to the Spartan workforce,” said WGCDR Pendlebury.

“This includes flying missions to airdrop aid and personnel, evacuate people from remote airstrips and conduct aeromedical evacuations.

“Bringing the Spartan to Mhanuu ensures that we can build techniques with regional partners from France and New Zealand, and be ready to respond if called.”