Published on Tuesday, 11 May 2021 at 9:26:04 AM

Exercise ARNHEM THUNDER 21 (AT21) is a four-week Air Force exercise which will be conducted out of RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal from 17 May to 15 June 2021.

Air Force will deploy various aircraft and over 500 personnel to participate in the exercise.

Aircraft and personnel will begin arriving in the week prior to 17 May.

Residents and the local community are advised to expect heightened military flying operations in the area.

Flying Times
Throughout AT21, aircraft will be conducting both day and night flying. There will be no flying on weekends.

Information about AT21 flying times will be posted on the following website:

Information will also be provided on Air Force social media, and through NT media outlets and key community groups such as local Councils.

Aircraft and Personnel
The following aircraft and personnel will be based at RAAF Base Darwin:

  • 10 x F-35A from 3 Squadron
  • 10 x F/A-18F Super Hornet from 1 Squadron
  • 6 x EA-18G Growler from 6 Squadron
  • 1 x KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport from 33 Squadron
  • 2 x E-7A Wedgetail from 2 Squadron
  • Personnel from 381 Contingency Response Squadron
  • Personnel from 65 Squadron

The following aircraft and personnel will be based at RAAF Base Tindal:

  • 12 x F/A-18A from 75 Squadron
  • 5 x Hawk 127 from 76 Squadron
  • 1 x C-27J Spartan from 35 Squadron
  • 2 x C-130J Hercules from 37 Squadron
  • 1 x C-17A Globemaster from 36 Squadron

As one of Air Force’s largest domestic training exercises for 2021, AT21 provides important force generation training, focusing on high-end collective training and involving multiple Force Element Groups. Such training ensures Air Force is ready to respond to the defence of Australia when required.

Aircraft noise is a vital consideration in the planning and conduct of exercises such as AT21. Air Force extends its sincere thanks and appreciation to the people of Darwin, Katherine and the wider NT community for their continued support for important training exercises such as AT21.

Community enquiries: dar.abcp@defence.gov.au
Media enquiries: media@defence.gov.au

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