The P-8A Poseidon played a starring role in Exercise Talisman Sabre, operating out of RAAF Base Williamtown for the duration of the Exercise.
More than 140 personnel from both Australia and the United States made up the P-8A Detachment. Four aircraft – two from each nation – were based out of the Australian Mobile Tactical Operations Centre (MTOC).
Detachment Commander Squadron Leader Melissa Houston said Talisman Sabre 2019 presented an invaluable opportunity to exercise our interoperability with the US Navy.
“Operating from a combined Mobile Tactical Operations Centre forged synergies from mission planning and execution right through to analysis,” Squadron Leader Houston said.
“Working closely with our US Navy partners enabled us to jointly explore emerging P-8A capabilities, optimise tactics, techniques and procedures and share warfare development,” Squadron Leader Melissa Houston said.
For three weeks 11 Squadron and VP-5 (The Mad Foxes) flew a variety of sorties and were put through different scenarios including anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions.
Officer Commanding 92 Wing, Group Captain John Grime flew on one of the ASW missions and said conducting ASW in support of a Carrier Strike Group is a challenging and complex role that is only fully exercised during large exercises like Talisman Sabre.
“To do it in concert with the Mad Foxes only added to the fun!,” he said.
This was the first time the Australian P-8A has provided the sole Maritime Patrol Aircraft capability in Exercise Talisman Sabre. In 2017 it worked alongside the AP-3C Orion from RAAF Base Townsville. Initial Operational Capability of the first six P-8A aircraft occurred in March 2018.
The P-8A Poseidon has advanced sensors and mission systems, including a state-of-the-art multi-role radar, high definition cameras, and an acoustic system with four times the processing capacity of the AP-3C Orion.
The missions flown during the Exercise by the total of five P-8A crews included Theatre, Force, Strike Group, Opposed Refuel at Sea, Large Force Employment and War at Sea.