The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed C-17A Globemaster III transport and KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft to the US in support of Exercise Mobility Guardian 17.

The US Air Mobility Command’s (AMC) Mobility Guardian 17 is conducted to test the abilities of the Mobility Air Forces to execute rapid global missions in dynamic, contested environments.

Conducted at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, US, the exercise involved rehearsal of key air mobility roles.

During the exercise, the KC-30A conducted air-to-air refuelling and the C-17A completed aerial delivery of cargo to a drop zone.

No 36 Squadron commanding officer, wing commander Peter Thompson said the RAAF has never practised air mobility missions on the same scale as Mobility Guardian 17.

"The RAAF has never practised air mobility missions on the same scale as Mobility Guardian 17."

Thompson said: “Our role is to work with international partners to deliver that first stage response and then sustain those forces within that environment, responding to their needs as the scenario develops.

“Air mobility is a critical part of how modern defence forces maintain logistical links. Whilst it is often used operationally, it is seldom exercised on a large scale.”

The RAAF’s KC-30A and C-17A participated alongside the US Air Force’s (USAF) colossal C-5M Galaxy transport, KC-135 and KC-10 tankers, as well as the Royal Air Force’s A400M Atlas turboprop.

The RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland, Australia, sent most of the 120 deployed personnel who joined 1,700 USAF members along with 330 personnel from other nations in the exercise.

Image: The RAAF deployed a C-17A Globemaster III and KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker transport to the US for Exercise Mobility Guardian 17. Photo: courtesy of the Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.