Dynamic moves for Cope North

Embedded within a United States Air Force (USAF) squadron for Exercise Cope North 24, Leading Aircraftman Carl Dransfield from 27 Squadron is part of a large multilateral air movements team.

CAPTIONRAAF Leading Aircraftman Carl Dransfield, of 27 Squadron, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, during Exercise Cope North 24. Story by Flight Lieutenant Claire Campbell. Photos by Leading Aircraftman Kurt Lewis.

The Australian Mobile Air Load Team has integrated with allied counterparts from the US, Japan and Canada to manage incoming and outgoing cargo and passengers at hub-and-spoke airfields across the exercise area.

Leading Aircraftman Dransfield said working with the 734th Air Mobility Squadron has highlighted how each nation is teaching each other to align procedures.

“Exercises like Cope North give us the opportunity to work with and strengthen our relationships and skills with those partnering nations,” he said.

“For me, the easiest way to understand something is to just roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. At the 734th, I’ve had the privilege of interfacing with a diverse range of groups within their organisation.”

Currently posted to Townsville, Leading Aircraftman Dransfield previously worked in Darwin where he regularly supported USAF aircraft, cargo and passengers during exercises such as Pitch Black and Talisman Sabre.

Now the shoe is on the other foot; in Guam for the first time, Leading Aircraftman Dransfield has built upon his understanding of US processes and how they do business on home soil.

“In Darwin, working alongside the USAF primarily involved adhering to our base’s established procedures,” he said.

“However, here in Guam, I’m immersed in the USAF’s daily operational processes and procedures. This shift provides me with invaluable insights into their methods, enhancing my understanding and adaptability within a multinational air movements system.”

RAAF has sent an integrated logistics team to Cope North 24, including firefighters, aviation refuellers, ground support equipment and ground mechanical equipment technicians servicing the aircraft arrester cable systems.

“The opportunity to travel the world is a significant perk of the job,” Leading Aircraftman Dransfield said.

“Whether it’s loading or unloading cargo aircraft, we often find ourselves in breathtaking locations, adding an exciting dimension to our work.”

CAPTIONLeading Aircraftman Carl Dransfield assists US Air Force personnel unload a flightline generator from a USAF C-17A Globemaster III.


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