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US Air Force Airmen train alongside RAAF Allies, enhance partnerships

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Nick Wilson
  • Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE BASE AMBERLEY, Australia – Two U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, assigned to 509th Bomb Wing, arrived to Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, Australia to support a Pacific Air Forces Bomber Task Force deployment, July 12.

This is the second team of B-2 aircraft and aircrew in July’s rotational Bomber Task Force, continuing the support of the Enhanced Air Cooperation Initiative under the Force Posture Agreement between the United States and Australia. Robust strategic relationships with Allies and partners demonstrate the U.S. Air Force’s commitment to the collective defense of Indo-Pacific nations and bolster the ability of Airmen to respond to crises.

“Training and operating with our Australian partners has been an absolute blast,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Kousgaard, Commander of 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron. “Since our advance team hit the ground over a week ago, U.S. Airmen have integrated with their Australian counterparts in every specialty: fuels, logistics, maintenance, aviators, you name it.”

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command forces train alongside Allies and partners to enhance readiness, furthering our ability to respond to regional threats and upholding a region comprised of nations that adhere to the international rule of law.

“We have plans to conduct engines-running refueling with Australian equipment, air refuel with Australian KC-30s … the list goes on, and the entire deployed squadron is really excited about it,” said Kousgaard. “It’s important for us to demonstrate that we can accomplish that mission from diverse locations in the largest combatant command in the world, and that’s exactly what we’re doing here.”

Bomber missions provide opportunities to train and work with Allies and partners in joint and coalition operations and exercises.

“The only way to learn and improve is to actually deploy and practice,” Kousgaard said. “We simply cannot operate effectively by ourselves in this environment, and learning to effectively integrate with our partners is absolutely critical to success.  We’re training against that ‘tyranny of distance,’ alongside our Australian partners on this deployment, and that experience is truly invaluable.”