In an article first published on June 18, 2017, the latest milestone for the Aussie A330MRTT was highlighted.
The article follows:
Recently, the RAAF just completed sortie 1000 in its Middle East mission.
It has done so with a 93% dispatch rate and has provided approximately 10% of all coalition fuel in the overall coalition air operations.
They have done this by flying one aircraft!
As the USAF is still waiting for its first operational Boeing tanker, the Aussies are head towards shaping their Tanker 2.0 concepts of operations and capabilities.
It would make sense for the KC-30A to become the KC-10 replacement if operational realities and coalition performance is important to the DOD acquisition effort.
Or put bluntly, adopting advanced systems from allies makes a great deal of sense whether they be Wedgetail, KC-30As, SAMDIS underwater combat systems, MBDA Meteor missiles, etc.
Ramping up American combat capabilities is more important than simply always developing American; and any kit acquired from abroad is almost always followed by production domestically.
According to the RAAF in piece published on June 15, 2017:
The Air Task Group (ATG) of Operation OKRA, is operating at the request of the Iraqi Government within a US-led international coalition assembled to disrupt and degrade Daesh operations in the Middle East Region (MER).
The ATG comprises six F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail airborne command and control aircraft, and a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport air-to-air refuelling aircraft.
Additionally, the ATG has personnel working in the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, and embedded with the ‘Kingpin’ US tactical Command and Control Unit.
The ATG is directly supported by elements of Operation ACCORDION including the Theatre Communications Group, Air Mobility Task Group, and the Expeditionary Airbase Operations Unit, whose mission is to provide airbase and aviation operational support to sustain air operations in the MER.
There are up to 300 personnel deployed at any one time to the Air Task Group, with an additional 100 personnel deployed in direct support of Operation OKRA.
Australian Department of Defence
June 15, 2017
The featured photo shows a KC-30A refueling the RAAF’s Wedgetail aircraft. Credit Photo: Australian Department of Defence.