Australian armed forces with military aircraft to join international operation against Islamic State

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Defence & Security News - Australia

 
 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 11:27 AM
 
Australian armed forces with military aircraft to join international operation against Islamic State.
Australian military aircraft began supporting the joint international operation against Islamic State extremists in Iraq on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced. Australia had not yet made the final decision to commit forces to combat, but Australian aircraft from Wednesday will start flying over Iraq in support of allied operations, Abbott told Parliament.
     
Australian military aircraft began supporting the joint international operation against Islamic State extremists in Iraq on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced. Australia had not yet made the final decision to commit forces to combat, but Australian aircraft from Wednesday will start flying over Iraq in support of allied operations, Abbott told Parliament.
A Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft taxis to the active Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., runway.
     
A KC-30 aerial refueling tanker and a Wedgetail E-7A early warning surveillance plane were starting flights to help the United States and other allied missions. If the government gives approval, Super Hornet fighters will begin combat missions in Iraq in the coming weeks.

"I stress ours are support operations, not strike missions. Australian airstrikes await final clearances from the Iraqi government and a further decision by our own. But from today our refueler and our Wedgetail will operate over Iraq in support of United States and other coalition aircraft," Abbott said.

     
     

"Australia can't change the world but we can make a difference. Our objective is to support governments that neither commit genocide against their own people nor permit terrorism against ours," he said.

"Our objective is to allow people to live their own lives in their own way and to worship in whatever way they choose," Abbott added.

Australia's commitment to combat has been widely anticipated since six F/A-18F Super Hornet jet fighters, along with the two support aircraft, were deployed to the United Arab Emirates two weeks ago in response to a formal request from the United States for specific contributions to the international coalition.

The government says the number of Super Hornets in the Middle East could soon be increased to eight.

The Australian deployment also includes a 200-strong ground force, including special forces, to advise security forces inside Iraq, plus 400 air force personnel.

 

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