US Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force Participate in Exercise Global Dexterity 22-2
US Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force Participate in Exercise Global Dexterity 22-2

US Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force Participate in Exercise Global Dexterity 22-2

Over 30 active-duty U.S. Air Force and Hawaii Air National Guard service members are working with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during a bilateral training exercise November 12-19. Exercise Global Dexterity 22-2 is taking place at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland, Australia, and will involve C-17A Globemaster III aircraft from both Australia and the United States undertaking a series of air mobility missions. Moore explained that each country’s air force representatives will act as an integrated unit, focusing on peer conflict tactics, techniques, and procedures, including ACE.

A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III flies alongside a Royal Australian Air Force C-17 in formation over the Hawaiian Islands as part of Exercise Global Dexterity 2022 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, May 4, 2022.
A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III flies alongside a Royal Australian Air Force C-17 in formation over the Hawaiian Islands as part of Exercise Global Dexterity 2022 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, May 4, 2022. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Makensie Cooper/U.S. Air Force)

On November 18, a pair of C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft took off from RAAF Base Scherger in far northern Queensland for the six-hour mission. The aircraft – one from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the other from the United States Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) – conducted simulated airdrops in formation over Papua New Guinea. Flying in the valleys of Papua New Guinea has provided a unique challenge for American and Australian aviators during Exercise Global Dexterity 22-2. The colossal C-17A is capable of airdropping everything from rations and water through to bulldozers and other engineering equipment.

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A United States Air Force C-17A Globemaster drops cargo over Londonderry drop zone near RAAF Base Richmond during Exercise Global Dexterity.
A United States Air Force C-17A Globemaster drops cargo over Londonderry drop zone near RAAF Base Richmond during Exercise Global Dexterity. (Photo by CPL Dan Pinhorn/Australian Government Department of Defence)

“The purpose of Exercise Global Dexterity is to provide a Mobility Air Forces centric exercise where USAF and RAAF aircrews can cultivate integration and interoperability while training for a peer conflict. The advantages to integrating USAF and RAAF aircrew are countless, but the ones that stand out the most to me are sharing best practices, exchanging ideas, and the ability to operate as a singular crew force in conflict. Australia has been one of the United State’s closest allies, and we have fought side by side in every major conflict in recent history,” said Maj. Joshua Moore, 15th Wing director of agile combat employment.

A Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster III flies in a 2-ship formation with a U.S. Air Force C-17 during Exercise Global Dexterity in the skies over Papua New Guinea, Nov. 18, 2022.
A Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster III flies in a 2-ship formation with a U.S. Air Force C-17 during Exercise Global Dexterity in the skies over Papua New Guinea, Nov. 18, 2022. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Alan Ricker/Australian Government Department of Defence)

Exercise Global Dexterity is held twice a year, with hosting duties rotating between the PACAF’s 535th Airlift Squadron in Hawaii, and RAAF’s 36 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley near Brisbane. The latest iteration of the exercise, from November 14 to 18, included low-level missions across NSW and Queensland. The exercise tests RAAF and PACAF workforce integration, demonstrating both units’ ability to operate and maintain C-17As together. This is the fourth iteration of Global Dexterity that will integrate intelligence, aircrew and maintenance Airmen from both nations. Service members assigned to the 15th Maintenance Squadron and 154th Maintenance Squadron will also be integrated throughout the exercise, learning from each other to develop maintenance capabilities.

US Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force Participate in Exercise Global Dexterity 22-2
Australian and American participants in Exercise Global Dexterity 22.at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawai’i, May 6, 2022. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr./U.S. Air Force)

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