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Forces: U.S. & Coalition/ADF
Deployments in the Persian Gulf

A Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 Hornet aircraft refuels from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 refueling tanker over international waters south of Basra during a combat mission over Iraq on April 7, 2003.  
Royal Australian Air Force

Deployed to: Persian Gulf region

Units: A squadron of 14 F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft deployed on February 8, 2003, from RAAF base in Tindal, Northern Territory while three C-130 Hercules transports left from RAAF base in Richmond, New South Wales, on February 7. On April 17, Australian Defense Minister Robert Hill said most of Australia's forces, including about 250 airmen and women and support crews deployed with the Hornet squadron, would return home in May.

An Air Forward Command Element responsible for coordinating air operations with coalition partners and providing national control of RAAF assets also has deployed. A small air force reconnaissance team was already in the Middle East to prepare for the F/A-18 deployments.

Duties: The F/A-18 Hornet fighter is designed for both air-to-air and air-to ground missions, including air combat, close air support of ground troops and interdiction of enemy supply lines, including maritime environments. The RAAF's Hornets are based at Williamtown, New South Wales, and Tindal, Northern Territory.

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