The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) six F/A-18F Super Hornet multi-role fighter aircraft are set to return home after completing their air strike operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The strike aircraft, which were deployed as part of the Air Task Group in 2014, conducted more than 2,700 sorties against ISIS targets in both Iraq and eastern Syria.
Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne said: “The battlefield success against ISIS means our own Operation OKRA has now reached a natural transition point and our strike aircraft will begin returning home early in the New Year.
“Since October 2014, our Hornet pilots and support personnel have made a significant contribution in support of the Iraqi Security Forces and I commend all the Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel who have contributed over this period for their dedication, skill and professionalism.”
“Australia’s Air Task Group has made a valued contribution to coalition operations against ISIS that is highly regarded by the US, Iraq, and coalition partners.”
Australia’s E-7A Wedgetail and KC-30A refuelling aircraft will continue to support coalition operations against ISIS.
Soldiers from Australia will continue the training mission, which involves around 300 personnel at Task Group Taji and around 80 personnel in a Special Operations Task Group.
The Iraqi Security Forces have recently declared all national cities and towns free from the control of the terrorist group.