Saturday, July 22, 2023

Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 (TS23) in the Whitsundays Region - Two United States Air Force (USAF) Lockheed MC-130J Commando II Hercules Aircraft - 11-5731 “Rogue 71” and 20-5939 “Rogue 73” - Spotted at Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport - Plus More!

On Saturday 22 July, a pair of United States Air Force (USAF) Lockheed MC-130J Commando II Hercules aircraft were spotted visiting Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport. 

Arriving first was 11-5731 as "Rogue 71" direct from RAAF Base Richmond.  It later returned there.

While later 20-5939 as "Rogue 73" also visited Prosie from 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.

They - and a third Hercules 20-5961 - all originally arrived into the country via Cairns and have travelled to Western Australian and back to the East coast, seemingly based at RAAF Base Richmond in New South Wales during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 (TS23).

UPDATE!  It seems a fourth MC-130J Hercules is also in Australia for TS23 with 20-5946 also seen flying out of Richmond and into the region by online radar websites.

Meanwhile, also on Saturday 22 July, another United States Air Force Hercules was noted in the region, looking to fly into the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).  USAF Lockheed AC-130J Ghostrider gunship Hercules aircraft identified as 18-5891 as "Jackal 93" looked to also fly up from and back to RAAF Base Richmond.

AC-130J Ghostrider Herc 18-5891 and a second, 18-5905, have been in Australia for a few weeks, based at Richmond and flying with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during the recently completed Exercise Teak Action.  They are flown by the United States Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) 17th Special Operations Squadron (17th SOS) from Clovis Air Base, New Mexico.

All photos taken by 'AC'  ©

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