Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon participates in RIMPAC

A Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon aircraft taxis in to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam during the 2018 RIMPAC exercise, July 3. Australian Defence Force photo by Cpl. Nicci Freeman

Flight Lt. Stephanie Anderson

Royal Australian Air Force

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) 11 Squadron (11SQN) said ‘Aloha!’ for the first time after deploying a P-8A Poseidon aircraft to Hawaii, July 3.

The P-8A arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) for the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise and will be operating from the Hickam side of JBPHH and Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

The 11SQN detachment has approximately 75 personnel, encompassing aircrew, maintenance, operations, logistics, administration and ground crew to support the P-8A.

Squadron Leader Brian Brown, detachment commander, said it was exciting for the squadron to be deployed to Hawaii with one of the RAAF’s newest aircraft.

“11 Squadron is integrating with the United States Navy by using combined maintenance and operations facilities,” he said.

“We’ll be conducting (an) operational test and evaluation on the P-8A’s weapons system by firing a Harpoon missile and torpedoes for the first time in an exercise environment, which will be the highlight of the exercise for us.”

Participating in RIMPAC is a key milestone for the P-8A to reach its final oper- ating capability.

“The P-8A has hit the ground running, being deployed on operations and exercises since being accepted into service,” Brown said.

“RIMPAC will provide us with a great opportunity to really consolidate our weapons processes, working in a large-scale multilateral environment.”

International engagement and interoperability plays a large part of the 11SQN detachment’s RIMPAC mission.

“Our P-8A will be working with aircraft and ships from the 25 partner nations on RIMPAC,” Brown said.

“This exercise will be professionally fulfilling for our personnel, particularly in being able to see how our partner nations operate and how we operate with them.”

The P8A from 11SQN will be operating with P-3s from Canada, Japan and New Zealand, P-8s from the U.S. Navy and India, along with rotary wing aircraft, submarines and surface ships.

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Category: News