Super Hornet jets from the Royal Australian Air Force base at Amberley will be conducting bombing runs at the Evans Head Air Weapons Range on weekdays from today until 5 August.
The twin-engine F/A 18F fighter jets will conduct air-to-ground gunnery operations at the range from today until 3 June, from 6 to 9 June, from 25 to 29 July, and again on 1 to 5 August, 2016.
The Super Hornets will conduct strafing runs from 10:30am through to 5pm as agreed with the Evans Head Evans Head Air Weapons Range Community Advisory Panel in June 2015.
Officer Commanding 82 Wing, Group Captain Glen Braz, said the operations would be conducted in two waves per day to ensure an efficient use of aircraft and personnel time.
‘It should also mean we will use the range for air-to-ground gunnery less days each year,’ Group Captain Braz said.
‘Air Force appreciates the input and support the local community provides in terms of our operations.’
Group Captain Braz said the broader community was informed of the Defence Practice Area closures through a number of means, such as an information column in the local newspaper and emails to key contacts.
‘The schedule is also published on the Defence website. We also have a notification process for local emergency services and marine rescue to advise these groups of our activities,’ Group Captain Braz said.
‘Defence personnel will display Red Flags whenever the Range is conducting live firing activities. Flags are erected at key points on the boundary to signal fast jets are operating on the range.
‘Range personnel patrol the area to ensure people don’t stray into the area while operations are being conducted.’
Warning signs with ‘QR codings’ (2D barcodes) are located at boat ramps from Yamba to Ballina. QR coding enables boaties and fishers to point their smart phones at the boat ramp signage to check on range use times and closures of the waters of both Northern and Southern overwater DPA.