Understanding that the free flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz is vital to both Australia’s economy as well as national defense, the country’s chief executive has ordered contingents of all three branches of the Australian Defence Forces to report for duty with the US/UK task force ensuring freedom of navigation between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
As seen in the video below, Sky News of Australia is reporting that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ordered a
RAN (Royal Australian Navy) frigate, an RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) surveillance aircraft, and 80 Australian soldiers who will be assigned in “aiding on operational matters” all to the Persian Gulf.
While the type and specific warship hasn’t been released to the public as of yet, it could be either the HMAS Melbourne, the last remaining guided missile frigate still on active duty with the fleet, or one of the Anzac Class helicopter frigates, of which eight are still assigned to the fleet.
Simon Kent of Breitbart.com also cites that the lone aircraft to be assigned to the allied coalition will be an RAAF P-8A Poseidon surveillance plane.
Despite the rather harmless sounding tag of “maritime patrol aircraft,” the P-8 actually carries more firepower than an F/A-18 fighter/bomber.
Other than carrying an array of mines, depth charges, bombs and torpedoes, the Poseidon also carries SLAM-ER and Harpoon missiles.
Both the SLAM-ER and Harpoon missiles are designed to destroy ground and naval targets.
Also noted by reporter Kent;
Meanwhile, AP reports the former head of Dutch defense forces said he believes the Netherlands should not take part in the mission if the aim is to pile more pressure on Iran.
The comments of former defense chief Dick Berlijn came in an interview published in Tuesday’s edition of Dutch daily De Volkskrant.
“I don’t think we should take part in an American operation in which we absolutely do not know what is going to happen,” he said.
Germany has already said it will not be involved.