Exercise Wallaby is currently underway for 2021 with over 500 personnel currently deployed to Queensland for Singapore’s flagship training activity. Forces from all three branches of the Singaporean Armed Forces (SAF) are utilising the expansive Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) for a series of air, land and sea-based manoeuvres. Following the cancellation of last year’s exercise due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year marks the 30th edition of Exercise Wallaby.
Rockhampton Airport and the adjacent ‘Camp Rocky’ act as the main staging ground for elements from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). Despite the downscaled exercise, nine fixed-wing and rotary aircraft have been deployed to Rockhampton Airport. Flying operations are in full swing with a variety of single-ship and formation sorties, taking full advantage of the SWBTA which is over 6 times the size of Singapore.
Currently based out of Rockhampton Airport are:
- Four Boeing AH-64D Apaches — 120 Squadron
- One Lockheed C-130H Hercules — 122 Squadron
- Four Boeing CH-47F Chinooks — 127 Squadron
This year’s Exercise Wallaby marks the first deployment of the CH-47F following their first public appearance in August. Their introduction marked the retirement of the Oakey based CH-47D fleet which were gradually withdrawn from service this year. Supporting this year’s deployment have been a variety of military and commercial charters from the Antonov Design Bureau, Qantas, the RSAF and Singapore Airlines.
Meanwhile in the Northern Territory, an additional 450 Singaporean personnel are currently deployed to RAAF Base Darwin as part of a two-month fighter detachment.