Visiting the 33rd Squadron, RAAF, Amberly Air Base, Australia


03/04/2014: Second Line of Defense is visiting Australia and discussing with the Australian Air Force some of their modernizations in shaping new capabilities for Australian and Pacific defense.

Clearly, one such new capability is the 5-ship squadron of A330MRTT tankers, or the KC-30A.

The host for the visit to Amberly was Squadron Leader Chetan Takalkar, Executive Officer of the No. 33 Squadron. 

We will publish our interview with the Squadron Leader in due course.

Two of the five planes were at Amberly during the visit.

Three of the Aussie five tanker aircraft are currently involved in upgrade, testing, and residual acquisition activities in Madrid and Australia. The squadron fleet should be at full strength in 2015.

Last year, in combination with the C-17, the KC-30A squadron supported several F-18 deployments to Guam and to Darwin and Tindal, which demonstrated the ability to move an air wing and support it at extended range with tanker and lift support.

This year the squadron has supported movement of Aussie F-18s from the United States across the Pacific and back to Australia.   

Both operations underscore capabilities which are part of shaping a 21st century Australian force for Pacific defense.

 Credit Photos: Second Line of Defense

  • The first photo shows one of the two tankers at the base inside its hangar.
  • The second and third photos show the other tanker outside on theTarmac after transporting some American pilots for an exercise in the area.
  • The fourth photo shows a crew rest area on the plane.  One of the benefits of a refuelable tanker is that with crew rest areas it can operate for a significant period of time in support of operations.
  • The fifth and sixth photos show the inside of the cockpit.  
  • The eighth photo shows the front of the tanker and two C-17s just in front of the tanker.  The Squadron Commander made the point that the C-17s had brought a significant change in the RAAF with the speed, range and capacity of the new lifter.  The tanker was bringing a similar change to the RAAF as well, and the two working together was going to have a significant impact as part of RAAF modernization.
  • The final photo shows the squadron symbol as seen on the hanger.  The Dragons are working to extend the reach and range of the Aussie forces in the region and worldwide.