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Air Force Orions – 40 Years Of Service

Minister for Defence Media Mail List
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DEFENCE MEDIA RELEASE

CPA 152/08 Friday, 30 May 2008

Air Force Orions – 40 Years Of Service To The Nation

The Royal Australian Air Force today celebrates the 40th anniversary of the arrival of the first Australian Orion.

During the past four decades, the Orions and their crews have made an outstanding contribution to Australia’s national security. Today AP-3C Orions are deployed on a number of operations including maritime patrols off northern Australia and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in the Middle East.

Australian AP-3C Orions remain extremely capable in their traditional maritime patrolling role but their high-tech surveillance capabilities are now also important to overland activities in the Middle East.

“I’m extremely proud of what the Air Force Orion crews have achieved. Our AP-3Cs have been making highly valued contributions to coalition operations in the Middle East since early 2003,” Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd said.

Middle East overland missions can range from escorting friendly road convoys to searching for militants launching mortars and rockets. Crews provide direct support to coalition ground forces by using their high tech Electro Optics sensor to search for any suspicious activity.

“We’ve got outstanding RAAF personnel crewing our Orions, but the behind-the-scenes nature of most missions means they are not always given the recognition they deserve in the public eye,” Air Marshal Shepherd said.

Over the years, the Orion Squadrons have been involved in maritime search and rescue tasks and also supported regional security through activities such as Operation Solania, cooperative maritime patrols with Pacific Island nations,

RAAF Base Edinburgh has been home to the Orion aircraft since 26 May 1978.


ends


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