McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft have flown in
Australian service since 1984. In 1981, 75 "A" and "B" variants of
F/A-18 were purchased for the Royal Australian Air Force to replace
Dassault Mirage III fighters. Hornets were part of the Australian
contribution to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, flying patrols and close air
support sorties to assist coalition ground forces. They provided
security for the American air base at Diego Garcia in late 2001 and
early 2002, in addition to their domestic protection duties. Between
2015 and 2017 Hornets were deployed to the Middle East and struck
Islamic State targets as part of Operation Okra. Hornets are now at risk
of being outclassed by other fighters and air-defence systems, and will
leave Australian service entirely in the early 2020s. Four Hornets have
been destroyed in flying accidents, two were transferred to Canada in
2019 and several others have been retired.
Today's selected anniversaries:
The Australian military began a "war against emus" (soldier
with dead emu pictured), flightless native birds blamed for widespread
damage to crops in Western Australia.
The Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference ended with the
Netherlands agreeing to transfer sovereignty of the Dutch East Indies to
the United States of Indonesia.
American intellectual Charles Van Doren caused a national
scandal when he admitted that he had foreknowledge of the questions and
answers when he appeared on the television quiz show Twenty-One.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (dated, poetic) An imaginary flower that does not wither.
2. Any of various herbs of the genus Amaranthus.
3. The characteristic purplish-red colour of the flowers or leaves of
these plants. amaranth colour:
4. (chemistry) A red to purple azo dye used as a biological stain, and
in some countries in cosmetics and as a food colouring.
5. (cooking) The seed of these plants, used as a cereal.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in
beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload,
without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse
them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to
prevent in that future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the
present — they are real.
--Lois McMaster Bujold
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