Thursday, October 6, 2016

Exercise Wallaby 2016 - Farewell for Good as The Final 2 RSAF F-15s Finally Depart Rockhampton Airport for Darwin

After delays and a departure and return, the final two of the six visiting Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing F-15SG 'Shikra' Strike Eagles of 149 Squadron out of Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore - serials 8326 and 8332 - have finally departed Rockhampton Airport for good on Thursday 6 October.

They departed to Darwin as "Singa 3609E-F" at the conclusion of their deployment to participate in the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2016.

The departure of F-15s had been delayed since Monday 3 October due to (reportedly) maintenance issues, while on Wednesday 5 October, they were forced to return to Rockhampton Airport due to air-to-air refuelling issues with the RSAF Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker.

On Thursday 6 October, RSAF KC-135R Stratotanker '750' was noted 'dragging' the F-15s up to Darwin and was heard using the radio callsign "Singa 8621".

Finally, also on Thursday 6 October, after departing and then returning to Rockhampton Airport with the F-15s, the RSAF Lockheed C-130H Hercules '732' also departed Rocky, again bound for Darwin as "SAF 9681".

It had arrived at Rocky on Tuesday 4 October and is clearly in support of the F-15s deployment to Rockhampton.

And so that is the end of the fast-jet action at Rockhampton Airport during Exercise Wallaby for another year!

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Kayanne H and Trevor H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and Trevor Hardsman  ©

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