Australia is set to pull out six F/A-18F Super Hornets currently operating as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. Australian Air Task Group flying Super Hornets was part of the allied forces since 2014, supporting the Iraqi forces in their battle against the Islamic State. The strike aircraft deployed as part of the Air Task Group conducted more than 2,700 sorties against Daesh targets in both Iraq and eastern Syria. Australia’s E-7A Wedgetail and KC-30A refueling aircraft will continue to support counter-Daesh coalition operations. Australia will also continue its training mission in Iraq, which involves around 300 personnel at Task Group Taji and around 80 personnel in a Special Operations Task Group.

The return home in January marks the end of Australia’s successful air strike operations in Iraq and Syria. “Australia had reviewed our contribution with our Iraqi and Coalition partners following the announcement of Iraq’s liberation from Daesh by Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi earlier this month.” said Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, “The battlefield success against Daesh means our own Operation OKRA has now reached a natural transition point and our strike aircraft will begin returning home early in the New Year,” Minister Payne said. A Belgian Air Force contingent of F-16 fighters is also returning from the Middle East soon.

A KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport and F/A-18F Super Hornets, all from the RAAF, return to base post a mission in support of Operation OKRA. The aircraft are part of the Australian Task Group that fought with other coalition nations to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Photo: Australian DOD