The ADF conducted an air-maritime integration exercise off the NSW north coast in late February and early March.
Called Exercise Tasman Shield 21, the two-week long exercise comprised units from the RAAF and RAN to promote and enhance interoperability between new systems coming online in both services.
“Exercise Tasman Shield 21 provided focused training opportunities for Air Force personnel to develop, practise and consolidate air-maritime integrated tactics, techniques and procedures with the Royal Australian Navy’s destroyer HMAS Hobart,” Commander Air Combat Group (ACG) and Officer Conducting the Exercise, AIRCDRE Tim Alsop said in a release.
“It was an excellent opportunity for our people to participate in realistic scenarios and provide air power as part of the joint force – critical to our Air Force mission.”
The RAN’s Commodore Flotillas, CDRE Michael Harris said the exercise was a valuable opportunity to train and further develop Navy’s integration with Air Force. “Air-maritime integration is an integral part of Navy’s ability to fight and win at sea, he said. “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.”
Participating in the exercise was the Aegis destroyer HMAS Hobart, and RAAF assets including E-7A Wedgetail, F-35As, and Hawk 127s from Williamtown, a P-8A Poseidon from Edinburgh, F/A-18Fs and EA-18Gs from Amberley, F/A-18A/Bs from Tindal, and supporting ground personnel including No 3 Control & Reporting Unit (CRU) which was set up at Crowdy Head north of Taree.