Fastjet aircraft in Townsville for Exercise High Sierra

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Australia’s next generation of F/A-18A/B Hornet fighter pilots are arriving at RAAF Townsville in North Queensland to participate in Exercise High Sierra.

Exercise High Sierra will be conducted as from Monday 26 November to 11 December 2018 and represents the last three weeks of the F/A-18A/B operational conversion course. The exercise  involves F/A-18A/B, Hawk 127, PC-9A, E-7A and KC-30A aircraft operating in the Townsville restricted airspace and the Townsville Field Training Area.

Aircraft will depart Townsville on the morning of 12 December 2018 for return to RAAF Base Williamtown.

Exercise High Sierra will involve day and night flying operations. There is no planned exercise flying on weekends with all weekday operations scheduled to conclude by 10pm.

The six-month long course converts fighter pilots from the Hawk 127 Lead-in-fighter aircraft to the F/A-18 Hornet and allows Air Force to maintain its key capabilities such as the performance of precision strike missions.

Exercise High Sierra represents vital training for the next generation of Air Force fighter pilots.

Members of the community are encouraged to contact 1300 DEFENCE (333 3623) for information on flying activities.

All flying is subject to change due to weather and operational requirements.

Information on aircraft noise and current flying activities is available at, or by calling 1300 DEFENCE (1300 333 362)