A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17A Globemaster III and crew have conducted a one week visit to their Indian Air Force counterparts.
The visit to Hindon and Agra Air Force Stations, held from the 12 to 16 June this year, included a series of briefings and presentations on each nation’s respective Globemaster capability.
Group Captain Adam Williams, Officer Commanding No. 86 Wing, leader of the Australian contingent said the Globemaster was a critical capability for both countries.
"Our air forces operate the Globemaster within the same region, but our workforces seldom have opportunities to meet face-to-face," GPCAPT Williams said.
"By visiting Hindon, we’re able to build a professional relationship that will benefit how we each operate the Globemaster, and lay a foundation for any future operations we’re called on to fly together."
India and Australia have each used the Globemaster to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. In February 2016, an IAF Globemaster visited RAAF Base Amberley en route to provide humanitarian supplies to Fiji in the wake of Cyclone Winston.
While the model of Globemaster is exactly the same for both countries, GPCAPT Williams said Australia benefited from an opportunity to fly on board an Indian aircraft during their visit.
"We were fortunate to experience an Indian Air Force mission to Leh in the Himalayas, which is 3,200 metres above sea level," GPCAPT Williams said.
"The lower air pressure at these higher altitudes affects the aircraft’s performance significantly during landing and take-off.
"We’re grateful for the opportunity to see how the Indian Air Force operates into airfields at such elevated environments, and will apply their experience to how we fly the Globemaster."
The RAAF contingent was also able to share its own experiences in operating Globemasters over the past 10 years.
"Our briefing to the Indian Air Force included a summary of how we conduct ultra-long-range missions, and our experience of air-to-air refuelling between the KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport and the C-17A," GPCAPT Williams said.
"We’ve also shared our experiences with Plan Jericho, such as how we’re applying advances with information and communications technology to the Globemaster’s mission."
Australia has a fleet of eight C-17As, operated from RAAF Base Amberley west of Brisbane. Four aircraft were acquired between 2006 and 2008, with further examples being acquired in 2011, 2012 and 2015 (two aircraft).
The IAF currently operates a fleet of 10 C-17As, acquired between 2013 and 2015.