Sunday, July 9, 2017

Ex Talisman Saber 2017 - The 'Herc-a-thon' Continues over the Weekend with Multiple Parachute Drops in Shoalwater Bay and Pops-ins to Rockhampton Airport

Over the course of Saturday 8 July and Sunday 9 July, the Talisman Saber 2017 (TS17) 'Herc-a-thon' we reported on Friday - see Blog post HERE - continued in spectacular fashion with yet more C-130 Hercules transport aircraft heard and seen flying into the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) from the South to complete parachute drops.  In some instances, the Hercs then called into Rockhampton Airport for a short period of time before some of them returned back to the South.  Here is a summary:

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On Saturday, all three United States Air Force (USAF) Special Operations Squadron Lockheed MC-130J Hercules aircraft - 13-5775 "Spock 41", 12-5761 "Spock 42" and 13-5777 "Spock 43" - were all heard flying around Shoalwater Bay with the latter two also noted visiting Rockhampton Airport.

Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Lockheed C-130H Hercules NZ7005 was back again also flying into Shoalwater Bay and then calling into Rockhampton Airport on both Saturday and Sunday.  NZ7005 returned to the South and was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Kiwi 10".

Multiple Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules aircraft were noted both completing parachute drops into Shoalwater Bay as well as continuing transport flights into Rockhampton Airport.  A97-465 "Archer" and A97-447 "Archer 2" were noted flying together late on Saturday, while on Sunday A97-441 "Trojan 6" and A97-465 "Trojan 3" both called into Rockhampton Airport bring yet more equipment to town for TS17.

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Finally, not a Herc but RAAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-210 was noted departing Williamson Airfield within Shoalwater Bay for RAAF Base Amberley as "Stallion 03" on Saturday 8 July.

Photos taken by 'IAD' and Ian Hitchcock  ©

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