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The US has entered a cross-servicing arrangement with Australia for the repair and maintenance of C-17A Globemaster transport aircraft.

Under the Aircraft Repair and Maintenance Service-Implementing Arrangement (ARMS-IA), C-17A technicians from the US Air Force (USAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will be able to conduct maintenance activities on each other’s aircraft.

The arrangement will lead to greater interoperability between C-17A workforces of the two nations.

The ARMS-IA will range from contingency maintenance when C-17As are away from home base on a task, through to exercises or operations when C-17A workforces are involved in a joint deployment.

Australia Air Commander air vice-marshal Steve Roberton noted that the arrangement will ensure greater operability for C-17A Globemaster operations.

Roberton said: “Our C-17A workforce regularly shares a tarmac with American C-17As, whether we are on exercise at home, or deployed across the globe.

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“Whilst a USAF C-17A is no different from a RAAF C-17A, our airforces have different maintenance workforce structures, which is what makes an arrangement like this essential.

“By making it easier to help one another, this arrangement provides flexibility and mission assuredness for USAF and RAAF C-17A missions.”

In 2017, the US and Australia performed C-17A maintenance integration activities under the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) programme that involves combined training activities and drills to boost interoperability.

“Our airforces have different maintenance workforce structures, which is what makes an arrangement like this essential.”

Maintenance integration activities allowed C-17A technicians to share best practices pertaining to maintenance.

RAAF and USAF C-17A crews have in the past collaborated with each other to support relief operations and participated in exercises in the Asia Pacific region. The aircraft also support deployed operations in the Middle East.

Both nations have an implementing arrangement in place that is currently underway for cross-servicing for C-130J Hercules aircraft.

Additionally, the countries plan to undertake future maintenance integration activities for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft and F-35A fighter jet.