Sunday, April 29, 2018

Many Photos as the Australian Army and RAAF EA-18G Growlers Highlight the Inaugural RACQ CQ Rescue Emergency Services Day at Mackay

It was a massive day on Sunday 29 April at the inaugural RACQ Central Queensland Rescue (CQ Rescue) Emergency Services Day with more than 7000 people estimated to have passed through the gates at Harrup Park Country Club in Mackay.

Some of the aviation action included the CQ Rescue (Babcock Mission Critical Services Australasia) Bell 412 VH-LSY making the short hop across from Mackay Airport and landing on the main oval at Harrup Park.

Soon after, Australian Army Boeing CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook helicopter A15-301 "Brahman 301" flew down from Townsville and also landed on the main oval at Harrup Park.

During the day, both helicopters were open for public inspection and proved quite popular with the queue for the Chinook stretching some metres!

The Australian Army also had vehicles and trucks on display with these ferrying down from Lavarack Barracks also in Townsville.

No doubt the highlight of the day though was when a pair of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic warfare jets roared over the crowd.  The two jets - A46-305 and A46-310 - which are flown by Number 6 Squadron based at RAAF Base Amberley, flew up from there in formation as "Brutal".

After completing a 'slow' then 'fast' pass, both Growlers returned to Amberley.

Of interest, the EA-18G Growler is an electronic attack aircraft based on the F/A-18F Super Hornet airframe, but is fitted with:

- additional avionics;
- enhanced radio frequency receivers;
- an improved communications suite; and
- ALQ radio-frequency jamming pods which enable it to jam enemy systems.

12 EA-18G Growlers will be based at RAAF Base Amberley with Number 6 Squadron and operate in conjunction with Australia's air, land and sea forces. Defence plans to achieve Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2018.

The CQ Rescue Emergency Services Day attracted more than 7000 people through the gates at Harrup Park and it was an awesome day and a fantastic opportunity to catch a moment with, and say "thanks" to the men and women who keep us safe!

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