USAF and RAAF conduct bilateral integration training mission


The US Air Force (USAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have conducted a bilateral integration training mission as part of Exercise Black Dagger.

The exercise is aimed at fostering increased interoperability between Australia and the US.

The 12-hour sortie involved two B-1B Lancers based at the USAF’s Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

The US and Australian airforces have also used simulated and inert weapons directed by Australian Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs).

During the exercise, the B-1 pilots maintained contact with RAAF JTACs on the ground to safely and effectively deliver firepower when and where determined by the Australian team.

USAF Pacific Air Forces Air and Cyberspace Operations director brigadier general Stephen Williams said: "The Australian and US airforces continue to work toward safeguarding security and stability in the region with missions focused on integrated operations.

"Joint exercises like these validate our ability to train and operate together seamlessly and ensures our ability to collectively respond cohesively if necessary."

“Joint exercises like these validate our ability to train and operate together seamlessly and ensures our ability to collectively respond cohesively if necessary.”

Participating in tactical training missions ensure the US and key allies such as Australia improve bilateral defence cooperation and interoperability.

The Boeing-built B-1B Lancer is a long-range, multi-mission, supersonic conventional bomber.

The bomber aircraft can carry a payload of 75,000lb and hold 24 cruise missiles. It has flown more than 12,000 sorties in Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq since 2001.


Image: A USAF B-1B Lancer, assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, flies over the South Pacific. Photo: courtesy of the USAF photo by airman first class Gerald R Willis.