Multi-National Force Sinai, 1982-86
The Rotary Wing Aviation Unit of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) body (to which the RAAF contributed eight of the ten Iroquois helicopters required) flew its first mission from El Gorah on 24 March 1982. El Gorah was the unit’s operating base in the north-eastern Sinai, situated about 20 kilometres from the Mediterranean coast. The US-led MFO was established in 1981 to monitor arrangements for the return of Egyptian territory in the Sinai which Israel had occupied since 1967. After Australia agreed to take part, the RAAF helicopters were delivered to Ashdod, Israel, by the heavy landing ship HMAS Tobruk on 19 March 1982, and the 89 personnel drawn from the RAAF, RAN and Australian Army arrived by RAAF B-707 transport the next day. On 21 March, the aircraft flew to El Gorah.