Exercise TRIDENT TRAP: July 2020


The first Exercise TRIDENT TRAP was conducted in July 2020.

EX TT20 is a joint Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare exercise.

P-8A Poseidon aircrew and maintenance personnel from RAAF Number 11 Squadron together with support staff from Number 92 Wing based at RAAF Base Edinburgh deployed to RAAF Base Learmonth in Western Australia to lead the activity.

A number of key P-8A warfare development milestones were achieved as part of this world-class training opportunity for the joint force.

And in an article by Squadron Leader Melissa Houston published on August 12, 2020, the importance of the training exercise was highlighted.

P-8A Poseidon personnel from No. 11 Squadron along with No. 92 Wing support staff from RAAF Base Edinburgh deployed to RAAF Base Learmonth in July for the first Exercise Trident Trap.

Trident Trap was a No. 92 Wing-led joint training activity, exercising Air Force’s P-8A’s anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities in partnership with Navy.

The deployment also marked the first time No. 92 Wing forward deployed a P-8A Mission System Fly Away Kit (PFAK).

No. 11 Squadron Commanding Officer Wing Commander Simon van der Wijngaart said it was an important milestone in support of operational readiness.

“The PFAK allows a small footprint of detachment staff to download and archive mission data to enable rapid post-flight analysis and intelligence assessments,” Wing Commander van der Wijngaart said.

“Importantly, it also provides support for subsequent missions by enabling aircrew and support staff to update the mission system data for each sortie.”

Another key component of Trident Trap was a two-day multi-static active coherent (MAC) trial.

The P-8A MAC system is an advanced, active-acoustic sensor that uses complex, multi-path sound propagation between sonobuoys to detect submarines at increased ranges.

No. 92 Wing Commanding Officer Group Captain John Grime said this was the wing’s second evolution of MAC trials with the cooperation of an Australian submarine.

“The planning of these MAC activities occurred over a solid three-month period, with the execution phase occurring over just two days,” Group Captain Grime said.

“As a result of this thorough planning we were able to fully exploit all opportunities presented by the exercise, gaining valuable experience with the new MAC capability while also generating a significant amount of data for post mission analysis by 92WG and Defence Science and Technology Group support staff.

“On review, the first iteration of Exercise Trident Trap was a highly successful activity, providing No. 11 Squadron crews and No. 92 Wing staff with excellent integration and ‘proof of concept’ training in conjunction with the RAN.

“I would like to congratulate 11SQN and 92WG personnel for their commitment and dedication to delivering a number of key P-8A warfare development milestones as part of this world-class training opportunity for the joint force.”

Exercises such as Trident Trap demonstrate how in an increasingly complex strategic environment, Air Force’s STEM-qualified personnel are critical to maintaining a capability edge and ensuring Air Force achieves its air and space missions.

During National Science Week (August 15 to 23) Defence is celebrating its STEM workforce and how STEM is used in the air and on the ground across a wide range of professions from aviation and engineering to logistics and healthcare.

Featured Photo: A No. 11 Squadron P-8A Poseidon conducts a landing at sunset at RAAF Base Learmonth. Photo: Flight Lieutenant Michael Hawkins

Also, see the following:

The Changing Role of ISR in the Pacific

Visiting Jax Navy and Mayport, June 2020