Dropping heavy equipment out of a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster aircraft was no small feat for a combined Air Force and Army team.

The Air Mobility Training and Development Unit (AMTDU) and the Australian Army’s 176 Air Dispatch Squadron have deployed to Exercise Mobility Guardian in the United States.

The team of air dispatchers, loadmasters and engineers have been kicking goals at the mobility exercise, hosted by the United States Air Force’s 92nd Air Refuelling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington State.

USAF airman Specialist Max Rodriguez, left, and Australian Army soldier Private Andrew List prepare an Australian Army Rough Terrain Vehicle for loading during Exercise Mobility Guardian 2019 at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington State. Photo: Corporal Nicci Freeman

The Australian Defence Force personnel have been working closely every day as an integrated team with their counterparts from the United States, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the New Zealand Defence Force.

Squadron Leader Rickesh Sunwar said AMTDU and 176 Squadron have successfully worked on standardising airdrop and drop zone procedures with the other nations to establish a solid foundation for seamless joint operations in future.

“Mobility Guardian 19 is providing a unique opportunity to collaborate with our partners and enhance our interoperability to produce rapid global mobility effects in response to international crises,” Squadron Leader Sunwar said.

“Our key objectives for the exercise are to validate the Air Force Interoperability Council air standard for container delivery systems, evaluate techniques and procedures for heavy equipment air drop and ensure combined drop zone operations and surveying.”

Lance Corporal Mikayla Wray, centre, during Exercise Mobility Guardian 2019 at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington State. Photo: Corporal Nicci Freeman

Lance Corporal Mikayla Wray, an AMTDU air dispatcher said learning with specialists from other countries had been an important opportunity.

“This exercise has enabled us to know each other’s aircraft rigging, loading, and drop zone procedures, so we can work together more effectively in the future,” Lance Corporal Wray said.