Riding Into The Danger Zone

BUTTERWORTH: Riding into the danger zone. Five RMAF F/A-18D Hornets and a single A400M flew off from the Butterworth airbase here, on their way to Darwin for Exercise Pitch Black 2018. They will fly to Australia via Kuching and Bali, Indonesia.

The 118 strong RMAF contingent is headed by Col. Koey “Mickey” Tan Chai, the commannding officer of 18th Squadron.

The Hornets and A400M getting ready to fly after the send off ceremony.

RMAF Air Operations Commander Lt. Gen. Mutalib Ab Wahab, said this was the second time, RMAF participated in the biennial exercise organised by Royal Australian Air Force. In 2008 the Hornets from the 18th Sqdn was accompanied by a KC-130H Hercules tanker.
Col Koey and his WSO Maj. Hazman Harun taking off from Butterworth airbase on their way to Darwin.

“After 2008, we did not take part in the exercises due to financial constraints. This year we are taking part as the funding has been allocated,” he said at the sending off ceremony of the contingent here today.
A400M M54-04 and the five Hornets bound for Darwin lined up for the sending off ceremony.

Mutalib says the exercise will give RMAF air and ground crews an opportunity to train an international large force employment exercise at one of the biggest airspace training areas in the world.
Some of the officers and men taking part in Exercise Pitch Black at the sending off ceremony.

Some 4000 airmen and 140 aircraft from various countries including Australia, Canada, France , Germany, Indonesia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, India, and the United States are taking part in the exercise which starts froom 27 July to 17 August 2018.

— Malaysian Defence

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