An RAAF F-35A fighter in the hangar at sunset
Photo Credit: RAAF

Royal Australian Air Force F-35A’s feature in Exercise Rogue Ambush 22-1

LONDON – The Royal Australian Air Force has deployed personnel and aircraft to RAAF Base Amberley and Rockhampton to conduct Exercise Rogue Ambush 22-1. The Exercise which features the F-35A Lightning II will run from 21 November to 6 December 2022.

Exercise Rogue Ambush is the final phase of the F-35A Lightning II operational conversion course, which aims to graduate the newest generation of fighter jet pilots for 81 Wing.

Close-up of an RAAF F35-A fighter taxiing during Exercise Rogue Ambush 22-1

The Exercise will also support the operational conversion course for E-7A Wedgetail co-pilots, surveillance and control officers (SCOs) and electronic support measures operators (ESMOs).

Commanding Officer 2 Operational Conversion Unit, Wing Commander Jordon Sander, said the aircraft would operate in the surrounding Amberley airspaces, as well as the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).

“Exercise Rogue Ambush aims to graduate combat ready F-35A fighter pilots and E-7A crews, who are prepared to operate in complex environments,” Wing Commander Sander said.

“Eastern Queensland airspaces offer excellent training areas for us to put the crews through war-like scenarios and conduct a wide range of tactical flying activities.

“The crews will be faced with complex planning and application of offensive and defensive manoeuvres, targeting both enemy airborne aircraft and missile systems on the ground.

“It is essential that we challenge the crews during this final phase of their six-month operational conversion course, providing them with necessary skills and experience required for combat operations.”

The exercise will be supported by an array of other aircraft, including the EA-18G Growler, Hawk 127 lead-in fighter, Pilatus PC-21, C-27J Spartan and KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport.

PHOTO: From Exercise Rogue Ambush 2021 – No. 2 Squadron gained more co-pilots & aircrew after a group graduated from the E-7A Wedgetail operational conversion course conducted as part of Exercise Rogue Ambush last year.

“Support for aerial refuelling and multiple aircraft platforms in the airspace provides diversity to increase complexity and advance training scenarios,” Wing Commander Sander said. “It’s the combined effects across the RAAF that make these exercises so successful.”

Aircraft will operate on weekdays and during routine daylight flying hours for the duration of Exercise Rogue Ambush 22-1.

The Royal Australian Air Force further expressed their appreciation of the ongoing support of the local community during these vital training activities.

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