The Royal Australian Air Force’s last remaining F-111 is expected to arrive Thursday at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, according to the museum. An Australian C-17 originating from RAAF Amberley on Australia’s east coast was scheduled to touch down at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam late on Wednesday Hawaii time, carrying the fuselage and other parts of the demilitarized airplane, according to the museum’s release. The disassembled F-111 will travel over land routes to the museum where RAAF personnel will reassemble it for its new role as a museum display, states the release. Two earlier flights brought other parts of the jet to Hawaii. “This is an important acquisition for us,” said Kenneth DeHoff, the museum’s executive director. “We’ll give it a final resting place that recognizes RAAF and Australia as the allies and aviation leaders they are in the Pacific region,” he said. The F-111 is a gift from the Australians and is “in pristine condition,” according to the museum. The RAAF ceased operating F-111s in late 2010. (See also Australian Broadcasting Corporation report.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.