A combined team of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the Australian Army has performed an air drop exercise during Exercise Mobility Guardian 2019 in the US.

The team dropped heavy equipment out of a RAAF C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlift aircraft.

The Air Mobility Training and Development Unit (AMTDU) and the Australian Army’s 176 Air Dispatch Squadron are currently participating in the Mobility Guardian exercise.

Hosted by the US Air Force’s 92nd Air Refuelling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, the mobility exercise started on 8 September.

The biennial training exercise involves more than 4,000 service members from 30 countries.

Members of the Australian Defence Force have been working as part of an integrated team comprising personnel from the US, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the New Zealand Defence Force.

The exercise served as an opportunity for AMTDU and 176 Squadron to work on standardising airdrop and drop zone procedures with the other participating countries, Squadron Leader Rickesh Sunwar noted.

Rickesh Sunwar said: “Mobility Guardian 19 is providing a unique opportunity to collaborate with our partners and enhance our interoperability to produce rapid global mobility effects in response to international crises.

“Our key objectives for the exercise are to validate the Air Force Interoperability Council air standard for container delivery systems, evaluate techniques and procedures for heavy equipment air drop and ensure combined drop zone operations and surveying.”

176 Squadron air dispatcher Lance Corporal Michaela Wray said that the exercise allowed the personnel to familiarise themselves with each other’s aircraft rigging, loading and drop zone procedures.

Mobility Guardian features different training scenarios in contested, degraded and operationally limited environments.

The scenarios include joint forcible entry, opening an air base, aeromedical evacuation and humanitarian relief support.