Thursday, July 27, 2023

Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 - More USAF and USMC C-130J Hercules Action at Both Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport and Rockhampton Airport

On Thursday 27 July, there was some great Lockheed C-130J Hercules action at a couple of Central Queensland Airports as the joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 (TS23) continues.

Up at Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport, United States Air Force (USAF) Lockheed MC-130J Commando II Hercules aircraft 20-5961 as "Rogue 73" was spotted arriving from RAAF Base Richmond via some local operations.

It later returned to Richmond.

While United States Marine Corps (USMC) Lockheed KC-130J Hercules 165735 (Tail Code QB-5735) was also photographed visiting Proserpine Airport. It looked to fly across from and then return back to Darwin and was heard using the radio callsign of "Raider 51".

Of interest, a second KC-130J Hercules 167108 (Tail Code QB-7108) "Raider 52" was also due to call into Proserpine Airport but from Darwin via RAAF Base Scherger but returned to Darwin soon after departing with a technical problem.

Both KC-130J Hercs are flown by the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VMGR-352) as a part of Marine Aircraft Group 11 (MAG-11), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW). The squadron, known as the "Raiders", is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.

Finally, also on Thursday 27 July, United States Air Force (USAF) Lockheed MC-130J Commando II Hercules aircraft 11-5731 as "Rogue 72" was spotted visiting Rockhampton Airport.

It arrived from RAAF Base Richmond via operations in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA). It later departed back to Richmond.

The two Hercs are flown by the USAF 1st Special Operations Squadron (1 SOS) which is part of the 353rd Special Operations Group at Kadena Air Base in Japan.

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

Photos taken by 'AC' and Scott Harris  ©

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