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US Commando aircraft ‘low level’ flights out of Richmond RAAF base all this month

Aug 2, 2022

Don’t be alarmed if you see or hear United States Air Force (USAF) Commando II aircraft flying low overhead for the next month – it’s all part of Exercise Teak Action 22.

Based at RAAF Base Richmond, the flying activity will be across Western Sydney, the Blue Mountains, RAAF Base Williamtown and parts of central New South Wales, running from August 1 to 26.

The RAAF tells us, “flying activity will be similar to that conducted by RAAF Hercules aircraft training at regional airfields throughout the year, which includes day and night-time flying at low level”.

The MC-130J Commando II aircraft is similar to the C-130J Hercules transport aircraft operated by the RAAF, which most of us have seen buzzing around, but in this exercise crews will be training to deliver people and equipment in what they call ‘challenging scenarios’.

A United States Air Force 353rd Special Operations Group MC-130J Commando II crew member prepares to depart on a mission from RAAF Base Richmond during Exercise Teak Action 21


The training ensures both Australia and the United States can support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations at short notice.

The exercises will also strengthen the close ties between the RAAF and the USAF’s 353rd Special Operations Wing, which has deployed from Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan, for the exercise.

This will be the fourth time Exercise Teak Action has been based at RAAF Base Richmond since 2018.

No. 1 Security Forces Airfield Defence Guards conduct a training scenario on the RAAF Base Richmond flightline during Exercise Teak Action 21


“Both the USAF and RAAF frequently conduct training exercises in each other’s countries, exposing personnel to a range of environments and challenges when deployed away from home,” said a RAAF spokesperson.


Pictures courtesy Department of Defence. Main picture by Sgt Shane Gidall, others by Cpl David Said.


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