Sustaining the aptitude edge, Royal Australian Air Power P-8A Poseidon plane and crews from No. 11 Squadron forward-deployed to RAAF Base Darwin to finish a collection of air-to-air refuelling coaching missions in partnership with United States Air Power (USAF) KC-135 Stratotanker mission crew late final 12 months. Departing from residence base at Anderson Air Power Base, Guam, the USAF KC-135 rendezvoused with the RAAF P-8A Poseidon over the Philippine Sea to finish the missions over three days.

Commanding Officer of No. 11 Squadron, Wing Commander Michael Sleeman stated”This coaching delivered vital functionality outcomes. The aim of the exercise was to supply RAAF P-8A pilots and mission crew with coaching eventualities to take care of ability units and ship a breadth of expertise working with the USAF KC-135 platform within the area. The mixing and cooperation with USAF Pacific Air Power’s models validated ways, methods and procedures to optimise operational integration; from planning by to the execution phases of the air-to-air refuelling missions.


United States Air Power pilot Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Greene from 168th Air Refuelling Squadron at Eielson Air Power Base, Alaska, prepares for take-off in a KC-135 Stratotanker plane for a coaching mission working out of Andersen Air Power Base, Guam.(Picture by Australian Authorities Division of Defence)

USAF deputy operations director Colonel David Rayman stated there was a robust partnership between our companies and our nations that delivered essential mission results. The seamless integration of each Australian and United States air forces demonstrates the shut partnership we share and the agile capabilities we challenge, re-enforcing the worth we convey as a joint and mixed power; as one cohesive, potent and formidable army power that may ‘fly, struggle and win’ collectively,” Colonel Rayman stated.

No. 11 Squadron aircrew efficiently accomplished the primary RAAF P-8A air-to air-refuelling missions with a RAAF KC-30A multi-role tanker transport. Te addition of the USAF KC-135 to the scope of RAAF P-8A Poseidon air-to-air refuelling capabilities extends the radius of motion and endurance of the platform in-theatre. The chance to work in partnership with the USAF has delivered a degree of joint preparedness for when each fly and struggle collectively. These enhanced Defence relationships by coaching are vital as they additional develop interoperability with companions as they work collectively to take care of a free and open Indo-Pacific area.