AIR Force E-7A crews and USAF E-3 personnel have taken the rare opportunity for close training and tour of the AWACS platforms on Australian soil recently.
The USAF 552nd ACW from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma was visiting RAAF Base Williamtown as part of scheduled training and familiarisation activities with RAAF Number 2 Squadron and Number 42 Wing.
The joint presence provided a visual representation of the partnership and interoperability between both Air Forces when the USAF E-3 Sentry positioned on the flight-line next to a RAAF E-7A Wedgetail on 10 Sep 19,
Assistant Director of Operations - USAF 965th Airborne Air Control Squadron, and Mission Crew Commander for the joint-operation, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Doyle, said the visit delivered important training outcomes:
“This trip allowed us to integrate with the RAAF, while we were concerned about limitations due to different operating procedures, the flight went better than expected and provided a great opportunity to build on partnership and international training,” LTCOL Doyle said.
“The flight was monumental because we were able to train in the electronic spectrum with international partners.
“Typically this experience isn’t available unless we are being threatened in a real life event.”
While the E-7A and E-3 are similar aircraft in that crew positions are almost identical, the Wedgetail has a much smaller crew size with the Aircrew being able to move to different positions on board.
Officer Commanding Number 42 Wing, Group Captain Hinton Tayloe said the activity ensured personnel were operationally ready.
“The aim of the joint flying mission was to develop skills in a training environment to ensure both forces are better prepared in the modern battlespace,” GPCAPT Tayloe said.
“I would like to congratulate all personnel involved as it was a team effort that delivered important training objectives and achieved highly successful mission outcomes with our USAF counterparts.”
Importantly, the visit and associated training activity provided the opportunity for personnel to come together and share knowledge and experiences fostering the close and enduring partnership between servicemen and women as coalition partners in Service.