RAAF Aircraft to Deploy to New Zealand

Several pilot training aircraft will fly across the Tasman to take part in a joint military exercise.

Four Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) PC-21 aircraft and two JTAC instructors are set to take part in Exercise Raven Kahu — a combined training exercise with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

The joint exercise, to be held from 8 to 19 August from RNZAF Base Ohakea, is expected to focus on enhancing New Zealand’s Joint Terminal Attack Control (JTAC) and forward air control (Airborne) capabilities.

According to Commanding Officer of No. 4 Squadron, Wing Commander Sean Jobson, the collaboration would further strengthen interoperability with Australia’s closest strategic partner.

“Deployments are a regular part of ADF operations, but training with our New Zealand partners demonstrates the longstanding relationship and ability to operate together as a joint force,” WGCDR Jobson said.

The RAAF’s PC-21 aircraft from No. 4 Squadron is based at RAAF Base Williamtown, NSW.

The pilot training aircraft are designed to provide a forward air control (Airborne) training capability and ADF JTAC training support.

The deployment for Exercise Raven Kahu marks the first time the RAAF has sent PC-21s for an international activity.

Exercise Raven Kahu is one of a number of multinational training exercises involving the RAAF this month.

Australian and United States military personnel recently commenced Exercise Teak Action 22 — a joint exercise based out of RAAF Base Richmond, NSW.

The exercise aims to strengthen ties between the RAAF and the United States Air Force’s (USAF) 353rd Special Operations Wing, deployed from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.

This is designed to improve joint humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations at short notice, testing the ability to deliver people and equipment in challenging scenarios.

As part of the exercise, the USAF’s MC-130J Commando II combat transport aircraft are expected to conduct flying activities over Western Sydney, the Blue Mountains, RAAF Base Williamtown and parts of central NSW.

The activities are to resemble training operations performed by RAAF Hercules aircraft at regional airfields throughout the year, including day and night-time flying at a low level.

Exercise Teak Action 22 is the fourth iteration conducted from RAAF Base Richmond since 2018.


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