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24 incredible photos the Royal Australian Air Force took in the past year

‘Another snow ball. The captain will be disappointed with that.’ Picture: © Commonwealth of Australia/Dept of Defence

We’ve been featuring some of the amazing work done by the defence forces in the past year, and their official photographers.

Recently, we’ve shown the best images from the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Army in action. Today, it’s the Royal Australian Air Force’s turn.

Not surprisingly, there’s a whole lot of hot mid-air pictures of Super Hornets, Spartans, Stratofortresses and Wedgetails, but this year we can add a couple of shots of the $100 million F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, as Australian pilots are now making regular training runs out of Nevada in the most modern fighter in the sky.

They’re also playing cricket in the Antarctic, saving dugongs and checking bombs. All in a day’s work.

Here we go:

Squadron Leader Andrew Jackson conducts a pre flight check on an F-35A (AU-001) at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

Aircraft from the United States Air Force, United States Navy, Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force involved in the large force employment air combat exercise fly in formation with a B-52H Stratofortress.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

Royal Australian Air Force personnel at Luke Air Force Base outside Phoenix, Arizona, USA, from 25 to 27 January 2016, test flying and training on the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

Aircraft assigned to various countries fly in formation for a photo exercise during exercise Cope North 16 off the coast of Guam.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

Leading Aircraftman Reece Pilgrim of No 36 Squadron plays cricket on the snow at Wilkins Aerodrome.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) refuels a United States Air Force C-17A Globemaster III transport.

Picture: US Air Force

A RAAF F/A-18A fighter aircraft aircraft sits inside a hangar in preparation for routine deeper level maintenance at Australia's main air operating base in the Middle East region.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

The hanger provides greater access to a range of equipment not used on the flight line.

A No 36 Squadron C-17A Globemaster drops a 7m JD450 Dozer load at the Londonderry Drop Zone.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

A Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18A Hornet fighter aircraft sits on the tarmac as Aircraft Technicians carry out maintenance at Australia's main air operating base.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) E-7A Wedgetail carries out the first operational air-to-air refuellilng from a RAAF KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft on operations above Iraq.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

A No.1 Squadron F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft fires off a flare during a training sortie.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

A No 35 Squadron C-27J Spartan taxis through a water cannon salute after arriving at RAAF Base Richmond for the first time.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

RAAF Aircraft Armament Technicians construct a Guided Bomb Unit (GBU-32) for use by the Air Task Group in the Middle East region.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

GBU 32s are a 500lb GPS guided bomb used on Australia fighter aircraft.

A Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18A Hornet fires a flare and banks away in the skies over Iraq.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

A Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster takes off from the Multinational Base Tarin Kowt with its heavy load of cargo.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

RAAF Aircraft Armament Technicians construct (Guided Bomb Unit) GBU-54s and GBU-38s for use by the Australian Air Task Group in the Middle East Region.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

A United States Marine Corps (USMC) AV-8B Harrier aircraft from the US-led international coalition in an air-to-air refuel with an Australian Air Task Group KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

Two bomb-laden Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18A Hornet multi-role fighter aircraft fly in close formation during a mission to Iraq.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

The F/A-18As conduct close air support and precision strike operations in support of Iraqi Security Forces.

The Royal Australian Air Force Public Affairs Team, deployed to the Air Task Group, gets into the Christmas spirit.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

Sea World staff take care of a dugong onboard an Air Force c-130 Hercules after transporting the mammal from Merimbula, New South Wales to Gold Coast, Queensland.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

A No 35 Squadron C-27J Spartan flies at low level shortly after departing RAAF Base Townsville.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

The E-7A Wedgetail crews at work in the aircraft.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

Air Force and Army working together to load a Multi Role Helicopter (MRH 90) onto a C-17 Globemaster as part of Operation Fiji Assist.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

A C-130J Hercules from No 37 Squadron overflies a Royal Australian Navy Collins-Class submarine off the West Australian Coast.

© Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

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