The Royal Australian Air Force has dispatched its largest aircraft, a C-17A Globemaster III and a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport, to the US for Exercise Mobility Guardian.
Held over the next fortnight, Exercise Mobility Guardian is a US-led operation that rehearses a number of key air mobility roles.
This includes air-to-air refuelling from the KC-30A, aerial delivery of cargo to drop zones by the C-17A and aeromedical evacuation training.
100 Australian personnel, mainly from RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland, have been deployed to the exercise, joining more than 26 other nations and 60 aircraft.
The Australian element is led by the Commanding Officer of No.33 Squadron, Wing Commander Sarah Stalker, who said RAAF medical, security, intelligence, aircrew, maintenance and other support personnel will be working closely with and learning from their counterparts from other Defence Forces.
“Exercise Mobility Guardian will involve participants from the US, New Zealand, UK and Canada – just to name a few,” WGCDR Stalker said.
“Our role is to work with these international partners to deliver a first stage response to emergency scenarios, providing aeromedical evacuation support, personnel recovery and refuelling to other aircraft involved.
“Air mobility is a critical part of how a modern defence force maintains its logistical links, and responds during real-world humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions.”
Working alongside the RAAF’s KC-30A and C-17A at Exercise Mobility Guardian are the USAF’s colossal C-5M Galaxy transport, its KC-135 and KC-10 tankers, and the Royal Air Force’s A400M Atlas turboprop.
“Exercise Mobility Guardian allows us to train with the best and leverage off invaluable opportunities developed by the USAF’s Air Mobility Command," WGCDR Stalker added.