U.S. Air Force bombers integrate with Royal Australian Air Force JTACS
By Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs, Pacific Air Forces
/ Published July 24, 2017
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hi (AFNS) -- U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers based at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam conducted two separate integration training missions with Royal Australian Air Force Joint Terminal Attack Controllers as part of Exercise Talisman Saber 17 at Shoalwater Field Training Area, Australia, July 17 and 19, 2017.
Talisman Saber is a biennial, combined U.S. and Australian training exercise designed to train respective military forces in planning and conducting combined task force operations to improve the combat readiness and interoperability between U.S. and Australian forces.
The 12.5-hour sorties were comprised of two B-1Bs each and flown as part of U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission, which has operated in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region since 2004.
"The Australian and U.S. air forces continue to pursue our shared commitment to safeguarding regional security and stability with missions and exercises like Continuous Bomber Presence and Talisman Saber," said Maj. Gen. Russ Mack, the Pacific Air Forces vice commander. “Exercising and validating our ability to train and operate seamlessly together ensures our ability to collectively respond to any crisis or contingency.”
During the missions, the B-1 pilots were able to maintain contact with JTACs on the ground in order to safely and effectively deliver firepower when and where determined by the Australian team.
The realistic and challenging exercise is in line with the Talisman Saber goal of bringing service members closer and improving both nations' ability to work bilaterally and multilaterally, preparing them to provide security regionally and globally. Talisman Saber's major undertaking illustrates the closeness of the Australian and U.S. alliance and the strength of the military-to-military relationship.
“Conducting training with our American counterparts on a tactical level is integral to ensuring that together we remain combat ready,” said Royal Australian Air Force Air Commodore Joe Iervasi, the Air Warfare Centre commander. “This exercise, and others like it, demonstrate our commitment to continuing to hone our skills as a combined force.”
As demonstrated by these missions, Talisman Saber provides an invaluable opportunity to conduct operations in a combined environment that will increase both countries' ability to plan and execute contingency responses, from combat missions to humanitarian assistance efforts.
Continuous Bomber Presence rotations have contributed to regional security and stability since March 2004. This presence ensures that the U.S., along with key allies such as Australia, have a credible capability to respond to a variety of levels and types of threats throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific.