US and Aussie technicians allowed to fix each other’s C-17s

The United States and Australia have agreed on a cross-servicing arrangement for the repair and maintenance of C-17A Globemaster transport aircraft.

FILE PHOTO (May 2017): USAF and RAAF C-17 maintainers work together on a RAAF C-17A Globemaster III. Photo by Corporal Brenton Kwaterski.

The arrangement permits C-17A technicians from the United States Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force to conduct maintenance activities on each other’s aircraft.

Air Commander Australia Air Vice-Marshal Steve Roberton said the Aircraft Repair and Maintenance Service Implementing Arrangement (ARMS-IA) will provide greater flexibility to C-17A operations.

“Our C-17A workforce regularly shares a tarmac with American C-17As, whether we are on exercise at home, or deployed across the globe,” Air Vice-Marshal Roberton said.

“Whilst a USAF C-17A is no different from a RAAF C-17A, our air forces have different maintenance workforce structures, which is what makes an arrangement like this essential.

“By making it easier to help one another, this arrangement provides flexibility and mission assuredness for USAF and RAAF C-17A missions.”

The signing of the ARMS-IA follows C-17A maintenance integration activities conducted in 2017 under the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) program. This activity involved C-17A technicians from both countries gaining a better understanding of the maintenance practices of their counterparts.

“This arrangement focuses on the C-17A workforce, but will ultimately benefit the organisations deployed across the globe who rely on a C-17A to sustain them,” Air Vice-Marshal Roberton said.

“In the Asia-Pacific, it makes sense for us to capitalise on our existing close relationship, pool resources where possible, and increase our C-17A capability even further.

“I look forward to similar EAC and ARMS arrangements being conducted for other aircraft common to Australia and the United States.”

A similar implementing arrangement between the United States and Australia for the C-130J Hercules is underway, with planned integration activities to cover the P-8A Poseidon and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.

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Brian Hartigan

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