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.
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.
“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.
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 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.
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Good luck boys and make Malaysia proud!
Q: Why send the Hornets and not the Su 30 MKM, or a mix of both?
Q2: Why stop at Kuching and Bali when the A400 can refuel the Hornets on the way to Darwin?
Most of the MKMs are still undergoing their 10 year service. Hornets are self deployable and spares are readily available in Australia.
Probably they did not want to test their luck.
good luck to all officer and hope this can improve our force.
That’s like 85 percent of the Hornet fleet. I hope not more than 50 percent of the Flankers fleet are under going the mandatory service at any one time. That’s really stretching it thin.
A400 put to good logistic use
Quite a high level tactical deployment there for TUDM.
Nearly one month, wow. Will they be having daily mock battles or something?
Thanks for the info. Very grueling training then, but such experience is worth more than gold, too bad we cannot send more flyers there.
What the format will be? Country vs country round robin or multination Blue Team vs multination Red Team and rotating the national composition on daily basis?
Have to wait until the exercise to see the format but it will be a team format
Big shame the Sukhoi can’t go.
Hope the boys ‘ sorok’ as many of those free F/A 18 spare parts in that big belly of the A400M :-).
Not that many I am afraid as most of the contingent are flying on the A400M to and fro Australia. Not a problem really as RAAF regularly flies to Butterworth with their C-17s
That’s probably why they have to have regular stops, I can’t imagine sitting in a military transport would be comfortable for long distances.
No lah, apart from carrying the other contingents members, their luggage and other logistical equipment, the A400M also served as the SAR bird. Our fighters dont regularly fly long distances so it would be unwise just to do it for this sortie. I have flown to Pakistan on a Hercules. On a direct flight it will take around 10 hours, on a Hercules with one stop it was almost one day. It was not that uncomfortable apart from the return flight where the plane was almost filled up with gifts for the visiting dignitary.