December 1, 2017

US Bombers and Fighters Defending Australia

Inspired by a most interesting article in DEFENCE CONNECT, 30 November 2017:

Two USAF B-1B Lancers have arrived at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland, Australia, as part of the US-Australia Force Posture Initiatives Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) program. The B-1Bs will be taking part in a training exercise with the RAAF. The Amberley Air Base has a long US squadron history (eg. with USAAF P-38 Lightnings, B-26 Marauders and B-25 Mitchells)

My father with his schoolmates used to walk over from Ipswich Grammar onto what was then Amberley "Airfield" (1939-45). Dad and his mates were very curious about planes and mechanical processes and liked Hershey Bars from the airmen. 

"EAC activities involve short-term rotations of US aircraft through Australia for up to two months at a time. The first EAC activity commenced in February 2017 at RAAF Base Tindal [Northern Territory, Australia] with 12 USAF F-22 Raptors conducting combined training with RAAF F/A-18 Hornets." Tindal also has a US history.


Also see Australian Defence Minister Payne's Media Release, 23 November 2017 "USAF B-1B Lancers to train with Royal Australian Air Force"


The EAC program demonstrates to potential opponents, like China and North Korea, that the US is Australia's ally and protector.

US fighters and bombers have defended Australia since the 1940s. This includes 10 USAAF Curtiss P-40 Warhawks that contributed to the defence of Darwin during the first Japanese air raid on Darwin on 19 February 1942. In that air raid there were 242 Japanese aircraft from 4 Japanese aircraft carriers and from land bases (see right sidebar). 

Amberley "Airfield" (1939-45) by 1941 began to host several US aircraft then whole squadrons. The Airfield serviced many more aircraft types and even assembled various US aircraft, like the P-39 Aircobras (photo above - better for ground attack than as a fighter). (Photo and background details courtesy ozatwar).

Separately two B-1Bs demonstrated near North Korea, on or before May 2, 2017.


No comments: