2014-08-31 In our special report on Australian defense modernization, we argued that Australia was building a force with reach, range and sustainability.
Obviously, air power is the central lynchpin of such a force.
And the first peg in building out such a capability was the acquisition of C-17s, and reportedly the Aussies are negotiating to buy two more.
Because of the C-17s, Australia can participate in the aid effort in Iraq.
According to a piece published on August 31, 2014, ABC Australia highlighted the participation of the Australian C-17 in the aid effort:
A Royal Australian Air Force planes have dropped humanitarian aid into the besieged Shiite town of Amerli in north-eastern Iraq ahead of delivering weapons to fighters battling Islamic State (IS) militants.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed the air drops of humanitarian aid after earlier announcing RAAF aircraft based in Dubai would deliver munitions and arms from Eastern Europe to outgunned Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting the Sunni militants.
Mr Abbott said Australia would join the US, Canada, Italy, France and the United Kingdom in supplying weaponry and aid to communities under threat by IS over coming days.
“Australia has participated in a humanitarian air drop to the besieged town of Amerli in northern Iraq… we have done so at the request of the Obama Administration and with the permission of the Iraqi Government,” he said.
“I can announce that in coming days, an Australian C-17 aircraft will be involved in air lifting equipment and supplies to Erbil in the Kurdish part of Iraq.
“I can also say that we stand ready to participate in further humanitarian air drops in Iraq should these be required.”
There is no role envisaged for combat troops on the ground and none of us want to get involved in another Middle Eastern war but it is important to do what reasonably can be done to avert potential genocide
Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Chief of Defence Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin said the Australian humanitarian mission on Sunday morning delivered 15 pallets of food, water and hygiene packs, enough for 2,600 people for a day.
The food came from the World Food Program and the hygiene packs were from AusAid and marked “Aid from Australia”. The aircraft since has returned safely to the base.
In addition, the Aussies are delivering weapons to the Kurds to fight ISIS.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced Australian Air Force planes will carry weapons into Iraq to help Kurdish fighters battle Islamic State (IS) militants.
Mr Abbott said C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster aircraft based in Dubai would be used to fly munitions and arms into the country’s north to help Iraqis in the fight against IS.
In a statement on Sunday, the US state and defence departments said Australia joined the US, Canada, Italy, France and the United Kingdom in dropping humanitarian aid to residents in the Shiite town of Amerli.
Amerli residents are facing major shortages of food and water after being surrounded by IS for more than two months.
In a statement, Mr Abbott said the Iraq crisis represented a “humanitarian catastrophe”.
This is a coalition effort with the US, the UK, France and the Aussies at the center.