Exercise Kakadu 2018 – Force integration training a valuable tool

P-3C Orion crew from No. 10 Squadron (10SQN) conducted Force Integration Training (FIT) activities with the Royal Australian Navy as part of Exercise Kakadu in September.

The FIT Phase included anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare training with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

AP-3C Orion pilot, Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) David Burnard, said the FIT Phase involves close interaction with the RAN.

“During these missions we will do direct support operations where we go out to the training area, join with a Navy ship and they will task us,” FLTLT Burnard said.

“These tasks include where they want us to look and what we’re looking for,” he said.

“We also conducted anti-submarine warfare for a submarines below the surface – helping map out where the ships are in the area and help them protect themselves,” he said.

As the FIT Phase continued, 10SQN progressed to work with some of the surface vessels from both Australian and international participant’s.

“This element of the training enables us to provide direct support to them which gives them the opportunity to practise utilising a maritime patrol aircraft, protect the force and searching for submarines,” he said.

The AP-3C Orion has an approximate crew of 12 on board where five will man the sensor stations.

“We have sensors on board that enable us to monitor sonobuoys which we can drop, allowing us to find and track a submarine,” FLTLT Burnard said.

“This is such a vital capability for training, not only whilst we’re flying, but also how we operate the aircraft tactically,” he said.

Being his first time on Kakadu, FLTLT Burnard said the experience has been fantastic,

“Exercise Kakadu is significant to us because it’s the last major exercise for the P3s before they retire and the P8 Poseidon takes over,” he said.

 “It’s been great to network with a lot of our international partners as well as see how they operate,” he said.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s). View in full here.