The Royal Australian Air Force has deployed one C-130J Hercules transport aircraft from 37 Squadron and 23 personnel to take part in Exercise Green Flag in the United States.
FILE PHOTO (June 2016): An Air Force C-130J Hercules conducts low-level training and flare drops over RAAF Base Richmond. Photo by Warrant Officer Mark McIntyre.
Exercise Green Flag is a major joint-force training event for the United States Air Force and the United States Army, hosted by the 34th Combat Training Squadron.
It will involve air-lift missions carried out in a dynamic and simulated war-like operation.
The exercise started on Tuesday and will run until 17 April at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas.
Detachment Commander Squadron Leader David Torrington said the exercise would improve RAAF’s interoperability with the United States Air Force.
“Exercise Green Flag will focus on joint-force integration, which will enhance our ability to safely deliver and supply ground units,” Squadron Leader Torrington said.
“These kinds of missions require preparation and exposure that’s difficult to find outside of real-world operations.
“This exercise is also critical to how we prepare for future Coalition airlift operations, whether they’re warlike or humanitarian in nature.”
USAF conducts several iterations of Exercise Green Flag each year, with each one involving up to 200 USAF personnel, 5000 American Army personnel, and additional international forces.
Squadron Leader Torrington said that during the exercise, opposing forces would seek to take control of drop zones and landing strips required for the Hercules to conduct its missions.
“Scenarios that play out in Exercise Green Flag are similar to real-world operations, including the kinds of payloads we carry, and the threats we might face,” he said.
“We train for this mission in Australia on a much more limited scale, so we are grateful to come to Little Rock and gain experience that we can reinvest into developing our crews back home to prepare them for deployment into a range of environments around the globe.”