U.S. Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force unite for munitions building

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Megan Estrada
  • 57th Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force personnel honed their interoperability skills by participating in a combined Guided Bomb Unit build during Red Flag 24-1.

Through effective communication and the interchange of tactics, techniques, and procedures between U.S. and RAAF forces, they successfully manufactured eight Inert GBUs for the F-35A Lightning II in a single day.

“Participating in Red Flag 24-1 is important for future missions because it has helped us become more familiar with how we and the United States work together,” said Corporal Matthew Parsell, RAAF weapons technician. “This opportunity gave us the confidence that we can integrate with any USAF weapon preparation teams abroad and build weapons quickly and effectively, utilizing a range of different team compositions from either nation.”

Red Flag offers U.S. and RAAF personnel the chance to train in advanced, realistic scenarios with one another and acquire the abilities they need in a real-world scenario.

“This training will aid in the future fight against advancing threats in the Indo-Pacific putting partner nations on the same page when it comes to munitions production,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jesse Garcia, 57th Munitions Squadron senior enlisted leader. “Each country now has a better understanding how the other operates which translates into a seamless operation where partners are interchangeable.”

Garcia noted how important it is for both countries continue to improve their understanding of how they individually and cohesively support the F-35s’ mission in order to optimize resources for the future, when assets and personnel are spread out in disaggregated locations.

“As one of our closest allies, it is important for U.S. and Australian personnel to work and train together to ensure we can execute mission requirements seamlessly when called to do so,” said Garcia. “Working together in a joint training environment becomes a force multiplier as in theory U.S. personnel could support Australian aircraft with munitions even if no RAAF personnel were present and vice versa.”

Joint training on munitions is one of the ways Red Flag-Nellis 24-1 participants trained to face the pacing challenge. This training enabled both countries to learn how to assemble effective GBUs as a collective and guarantee that each F-35 is properly equipped and prepared for mission success in the high-end fight.