Exercise Global Dexterity has involved a major milestone for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and United States Air Force (USAF), with mixed-nation C-17 Globemaster III crews maintaining, loading and flying the aircraft.

The interfly exercise, currently underway, is operating out of No. 36 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley for two weeks this month.

Participating in ‘five-ship’ air-to-air refuelling training with RAAF KC-10A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft, and airdrop formations, the three C-17s descended to an altitude of 100m along the Queensland coast.

Commenting on the ongoing Air Force relationship, Colonel Geoff Lohmiller, Vice Commander of the USAF 15th Operations Group, said Australia and the US are the left and right hand of the Pacific Ocean.

“Our teams are one in the same,” Colonel Lohmiller said.

“There are unique complexities to face and learn from when working in a mixed team.”

“This training and tactical-level integration of C-17 aircrew is how we remain effective and responsive into the future.

“The 535th Air Lift Squadron and 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron are thrilled to be here and look forward to seeing our Aussie mates when we host Exercise Global Dexterity in the States in mid-2020.”

Flight Lieutenant Lukasz Wijacha, of No. 36 Squadron, said the exercise has demonstrated the RAAF and USAF teams’ ability to function as one squadron.

“There are unique complexities to face and learn from when working in a mixed team,” Flight Lieutenant Wijacha said.

“Many USAF C-17s have never experienced refuelling with our KC-30A aircraft either, so it is invaluable practising this while they are Down Under.”