KC-30A MRTT, P-8A Poseidon and B-1B Lancers in Top End Exercise

CANBERRA: Two United States Air Force (USAF) B-1B Lancer bombers have swept over the Top End for training with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). After travelling over six thousand kilometres from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, the B-1B crews flew emergency diversion familiarisation training at RAAF Base Darwin.

Their mission included training with RAAF aviators flying P-8A Poseidon and KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT). “This is important to maintaining the bombers’ global reach capability and builds on the AUSMIN 2021 commitment to continue enhancing military cooperation and interoperability between our two nations,” the Australian Department of Defence said today.

The flying visit coincided with the 10 year anniversary of the first US Force Posture Initiatives (USFPI) in Australia, including the Marine Rotational Force Darwin (MRF-D) and Enhanced Air Cooperation, and 70 years of the ANZUS Treaty, the statement said.

On Nov 8, 2021, two US Air Force B-1 Lancer bombers conducted planned emergency diversion familiarisation training over RAAF Base Darwin. The B-1s also exercised with Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon and KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft off the Australian coast.

The activity built on the AUSMIN 2021 commitment to continue enhancing military cooperation and interoperability between our two nations. The B-1 Lancer is a USAF conventional bomber, considered the backbone of the United States long-range bomber force. The first B-1 Lancer visit to Australia was in 1995, with the most recent visit occurring for Exercise Loobeye 2020 in the Northern Territory.

In the region, Airbus A330 MRTT designated the KC-30A in RAAF service, is also used by the Republic of Korea Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force, while the Boeing Poseidon is flying with the Indian Air Force (P-8I) and soon, with the Republic of Korea Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Air Force. –adj/nag/mgm

(Image: FLTLT Byron Miles-Ward RAAF)