United States Indo-Pacific Commander visits RAAF Base Amberley
31 July 2022
Commander of United States military forces in the Indo-Pacific, Admiral John C. Aquilino, visited RAAF Base Amberley today while in Australia for the 24th annual Indo-Pacific Chiefs of Defense (CHODs) conference.
Admiral Aquilino engaged with senior Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) leadership and visited US personnel from the 509th Bomb Wing, deployed to Australia as part of the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) program.
Greeting Commander of the Indo-Pacific US forces from RAAF was Air Commodore David Paddison CSC, Commander of Combat Support Group.
Air Commodore Paddison said the visit presented a great opportunity to discuss with Admiral Aquilino the integrated training that is occurring between the US Air Force and RAAF under the EAC program.
“RAAF Base Amberley has been hosting US personnel and B-2 aircraft throughout the month of July, where integration between aircraft along with ground forces has been occurring,” Air Commodore Paddison said.
“It’s not a regular occurrence for our refuelling, security and fire fighters to gain experience on aircraft such as the B-2.”
“It is a privilege having Admiral Aquilino visit our largest Air Force base in Australia and meeting our aviators, who have been working with their peers from the 509th Bomb Wing.
“This partnership has been instrumental in enhancing the capabilities and interoperability of both our forces through joint exercises and activities.
“The Indo-Pacific is our home and we stand committed to an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific.”
The EAC initiative commenced in February 2017 to build on a broad range of long-standing air exercises and training activities undertaken between Australia and the US.
EAC aims to deepen advanced air-to-air integration between the Australian Defence Force and US air elements to enable the two countries to operate together seamlessly. It also provides opportunities for Australia and the US to enhance engagement with regional partner air forces through exercises and training activities.
The EAC initiative has been operating successfully for several years as one of the United States Force Posture Initiatives.
Media can access imagery of this visit at https://images.defence.gov.au/S20222416