Indonesia will host Australia for Exercise Rajawali Ausindo 18 that will test each nation’s airlift capability to respond to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the Indonesian Air Force will use their C-130J Hercules aircraft to participate in training exercises in Kupang in the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara from 3 to 7 September 2018.

Air Commodore Bill Kourelakos, Commander Air Mobility Group, said during disaster relief operations, it is important to be able to come together at short notice and immediately start delivering relief to those in need.

“Exercise Rajawali Ausindo enables the two nations to share information of airlift operations, test operability and work together to overcome challenges which is critical to the success of future combined operations,” Air Commodore Kourelakos said.

“I saw firsthand the benefits of our close working relationship with our Indonesian counterpart in my role as Commander Air Component following the 2009 Padang Earthquake.”

Indonesia and Australia have contributed airlift responses to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in the Asia Pacific region, including Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013.

“During a disaster relief mission there is tremendous pressure on our Hercules crews to quickly deliver supplies to those in need, or evacuate them from a disaster area,” Air Commodore Kourelakos said.

“Natural disasters can often damage key infrastructure such as roads, airfields and ports, which can challenge how we deliver aid.”

The C-130J Hercules can carry up to 20 tonnes of cargo, including vehicles and helicopters, or carry over 100 passengers.

Crews can also airdrop supplies, and future developments like the use of GPS-guided precision aerial delivery systems will allow supplies to be dropped into small clearings or sporting fields.

Australia and Indonesia are the longest operators of the Hercules outside of the United States, with Australia introducing its first Hercules in 1958, and Indonesia in 1960.

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