Australia RAAF PC 21 Andrew Hamblyn 640RAAF PC-21s deploy to New Zealand

On 5 August 2022, four Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Pilatus PC-21s of 4 Squadron Cooperate to Strike arrived at Base Ohakea (New Zealand) to participate in exercise Raven Kahu.

The exercise, held from 8 to 19 August 2022, is a combined training exercise involving RAAF and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) aircraft and personnel. This exercise focuses on enhancing New Zealand’s Joint Terminal Attack Control (JTAC) and Forward Air Control (Airborne) capabilities.

The particpating RAAF PC-21s, serials A54-046, -047, -048 and -049, are based at RAAF Base Williamtown (NSW) where they provide a Forward Air Control (Airborne) training capability and Australian Defence Force (ADF) JTAC training support. International deployments are an essential element of operational preparedness, currency and proficiency objectives. This is the first time the RAAF has deployed the PC-21s for an international activity. The unit was formerly known as Forward Air Control Development Unit (FACDU) operating the Pilatus PC-9/A.

The RNZAF will participate with T-6Cs from 14 Squadron Kia Maia , kia u, kia ngawari and A109LUH and NH90-TTH helicopters from 3 Squadron Kimihia Ka Patu, all operating from Base Ohakea. More squadrons might join this exercise.

Photo by Andrew Hamblyn

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