Australia is acquiring 24 Block II F/A-18F Super Hornets as a bridging air combat capability during the transition to the F 35 Joint Strike Fighter. The F/A-18F Super Hornet (Rhino) is a true multi-role aircraft that spans the air combat spectrum, including maritime strike which is vital for Australia. The Super Hornets will be progressively introduced to their new home at Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley throughout 2010 and 2011. Attending the home coming ceremony were many distinguished guests including the Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency, Ms Penelope Wensley, and Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston.

Rafael Alunan III, a former secretary of Interior, today made a post in his Facebook account, saying he received reports on July 1, that four United States F-18 Super Hornets from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 deployed to Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) were being challenged by China’s PLA Navy in the West Philippine Sea.

USS George Washington carrier strike group is in the Philippine Sea as of July 1. with its F18 super Hornet fighter Jets is on patrol supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

According to Chief Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc of the AFP Public Affairs Office, yet as of now they have not received a report on the said incident.

“We have not received any report about this incident,” Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc said.


Alunan said he received a message saying “4 F-18 Super Hornets from CVW 5 aboard USS George Washington CVN 73 were again challenged by the PLA Navy above the disputed island group (KIG).”

While the US F18 fighter jet is on patrol the PLA Navy allegedly threatened to scramble a squadron of “JT 15″, but the American pilots ignored PLA Navy’s warning. Lt. Cmdr. Marion “Mitch” Paulson reportedly “ordered the Super Hornets to switch on their radar weapons systems and continued on with their mission and sortie.”

“Lt.Cmdr. Marion “Mitch” Paulson responded that they were over Philippine territorial waters and were conducting routine patrol flights on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines,” says in the post of Alunan.