ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Since 1942, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson has worked towards crafting a strong relationship with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Dating back to World War II, the two military forces have been exchanging a U.S. Air Force pilot for a pilot from the RAAF.
Both militaries fall in the Indo-Pacific region. Military officials say it is critical that the two have a strong relationship.
“It’s important for us to be able to train together and work on interoperable ability,” Col. Kevin Jamieson with the U.S. Air Force, said. “That way if we ever have to work together in an environment where we are responding to crisis, we have already trained together.”
Jamieson said that the Indo-Pacific region is large and it’s important that both nations are able to work together to provide peace and stability. Through the exchange program, military members are able to understand each unit’s tactics — gaining experience in working with different forces.
Lt. Bryce Woollett is in the second year of his three-year tour in Alaska as an exchange pilot for the Australian Royal Air Force. The program gives him chances to fly U.S. Aircraft. Woollett is able to compare the two militaries.
“The exchange is a great opportunity to fly with the U.S. Air Force — learn about the way they attack problems, the way that they do business, and hopefully on the other hand they can learn the way Australia approaches tactical problems,” Woollett said.
Woollett said getting a better understanding of how each force works should hopefully lead to more mission successes. If the opportunity to combat together strikes they will be ready.
“We are one team, ready for whatever,” Jamieson said.
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