Pacific Agility 17-0 enhances capabilities for two nations

Maintainers from the 15th Maintenance Group and members from the 36th Squadron from Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, search the flightline for debris at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, July 12.

Story and photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman

15th Wing Public Affairs

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) teamed up with Airmen from the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) to participate in Phase III of Pacific Agility 17-0.

This Pacific Agility exercise brought together the U.S. Air Force 15th Maintenance Group (15 MXG), from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and the 36th Squadron (36 SQN), from RAAF Base Amberley, Brisbane, Queensland Australia.

According to U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Bryan Bennett, command C-17 functional manager for PACAF, the training initiative will save time and money.

“The way we are postured right now is, if one of our aircraft breaks down in Australia than we have to send a team with parts to fix it and vice versa,” Bennett said. “Since the Australians also have C-17 maintainers, it makes sense to coordinate the repair locally and eliminate the additional travel cost and lost mission velocity. This would save both time and money for both of our countries.”

The universal availability of the C-17 has opened a door to building a mutually beneficial cooperation between Australia and the U.S.

“Given the global nature of C-17 operations, this type of training allows 36 SQN to understand how other organizations like the 15 MXG operates,” said RAAF Flying Officer Dylan Banning. “This enhanced understanding enables greater flexibility and multinational integration for future exercises and operations.”

Banning also outlined some of the goals of the training event.

“As a squadron we hope to gain an appreciation for how the 15th MXG maintains its C-17 fleet in line with the intent of Enhanced Air Cooperation training,” Banning said. “Working alongside the 15 MXG provides 36 SQN with the opportunity to observe the maintenance procedures of another organization with a similar C-17 fleet providing ideas for 36 SQN to improve its maintenance efficiency.”

According to Bennett, the maintenance piece of the training is the easy part.

“Maintenance is pretty standard anywhere you go.” “The next step will be with the maintenance data documentation. If we can get the system to work so both countries can input the maintenance activities we accomplish and sign off our own work, we will be golden.”

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