Hornets patrol in Gulf War
The RAAF’s involvement in the 2003 Gulf War began with a detachment of two AP-3C Orion surveillance and patrol aircraft deploying to the Middle East in January, followed by three C-130 Hercules transport aircraft and 14 F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft. Each aircraft element was supported by a ground support team.
The Hornets of 75 Squadron flew close air support and air interdiction operations, as well as attacks on ground targets . On 20 March 2003 the RAAF delivered the first RAAF bomb to a target during conflict since the Vietnam War. The squadron provided support to Australian Special Air Services (SAS) and 4 Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR) personnel and international partners, helping them capture Al Asad Air Base in the west of the country where a wealth of Iraqi MIGs, helicopters and almost eight million kilograms of ordnance were discovered.