USAF’s B-1B Lancers complete integration training missions with RAAF JTACs
The US Air Force’s (USAF) B-1B Lancer long-range, multi-mission conventional bombers integrated with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) under two separate missions between 17-19 July at the Talisman Saber training exercise in Australia.
The 12.5-hour sorties consisted of two B-1Bs each and flown as part of US Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission, the USAF stated.
Pilots operating bomber aircraft were able to maintain contact with JTACs on the ground in order to safely and effectively deliver firepower when and where determined by the Australian team.
Pacific Air Forces vice commander Major General Russ Mack said: "The Australian and US airforces continue to pursue our shared commitment to safeguarding regional security and stability with missions and exercises like Continuous Bomber Presence and Talisman Saber.
“Exercising and validating our ability to train and operate seamlessly together ensures our ability to collectively respond to any crisis or contingency.”
The biennial exercise focuses on training between the US and the Australian militaries.
Talisman Saber 2017 includes a Command Post Exercise (CPX) that incorporates simulated forces and scenarios, and a Field Training Exercise (FTX) that will see manoeuvring of extensive forces in Australia.
RAAF air commodore Joe Iervasi said: “Conducting training with our American counterparts on a tactical level is integral to ensuring that together we remain combat ready.
“This exercise, and others like it, demonstrate our commitment to continuing to hone our skills as a combined force.”
More than 30,000 Australian and US defence personnel are taking part in the exercise that is scheduled to conclude later this month.
Image: USAF B-1B Lancers taxi down a flight line at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo.