HomeNewsArticle Display

Exchange program instructor fuels interoperability at Pitch Black 2018

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jonathan Haas, Royal Australian Air Force 33rd Squadron KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport air-refueling operator, poses for a photo at RAAF Base Darwin, Australia, Aug. 8, 2018. Haas has spent the last two years based out of RAAF Base Amberley, Australia, serving as an instructor in the USAF Military Personnel Exchange Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jonathan Haas, Royal Australian Air Force 33rd Squadron KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport air-refueling operator, poses for a photo at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, Australia, Aug. 8, 2018. Haas has spent the last two years based out of Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, Australia, serving as an instructor in the U.S. Air Force Military Personnel Exchange Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jonathan Haas, Royal Australian Air Force 33rd Squadron KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport air-refueling operator, smiles in front of a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport turbine on RAAF Base Darwin, Australia, Aug. 8, 2018. Haas is assigned to RAAF Base Amberley, Australia, and has been an air-refueling instructor with the USAF Military Personnel Exchange Program for two years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jonathan Haas, Royal Australian Air Force 33rd Squadron KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport air-refueling operator, smiles in front of a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport turbine on Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, Australia, Aug. 8, 2018. Haas is assigned to Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, Australia, and has been an air-refueling instructor with the U.S. Air Force Military Personnel Exchange Program for two years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters)

Royal Australian Air Force Aircraftsman Jordan Rees, 13th Squadron ground marshaller, directs a RAAF KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport during exercise Pitch Black 2018, Aug. 8, 2018. This exercise aims to enhance flight operations and proficiency as well as maintain interoperability between the United States and partner nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters)

Royal Australian Air Force Aircraftsman Jordan Rees, 13th Squadron ground marshaller, directs a Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport during exercise Pitch Black 2018, Aug. 8, 2018. This exercise aims to enhance flight operations and proficiency as well as maintain interoperability between the United States and partner nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters)

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE BASE DARWIN, Australia (AFNS) -- Immersing oneself in a foreign culture is something many Airmen stationed overseas are accustomed to doing. The mission of the U.S. Air Force is to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace; and every day Airmen stationed overseas not only accomplish that mission, but also build upon the partnerships established between the U.S. and its allies.

The Military Personnel Exchange Program offers active-duty Airmen the chance to integrate into ally and partner nation air forces abroad.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jonathan Haas, Royal Australian Air Force 33rd Squadron KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport air-refueling operator and Exercise Pitch Black 2018 participant, has spent the last two years serving as an instructor and strengthening the relationship between the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force in this three-year position.

“The program is a deputy under secretary of the Air Force for international affairs initiative to increase interoperability amongst coalition partners and other countries,” Haas said. “My purpose in the exchange on the KC-30A is to increase interoperability and train (Royal Australian Air Force) to where they can merge with the (U.S. Air Force) tankers in the future if they have to.”

Based out of Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, Australia, Haas and his students are participating in Exercise Pitch Black 2018, a biennial three-week multi-national large force employment exercise conducted from both RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal. Exercise PBK18 hosts more than 4,000 personnel and approximately 140 aircraft from 16 partner and allied nations across the globe.

“Exercise Pitch Black is a great opportunity for all participants involved, including my students,” said Haas. “They are gaining experience on aircraft that are not normally here. We’re refueling (U.S. Air Force) F-16s and (Indian) Sukhoi Su-30MKIs from a (Royal Australian Air Force) KC-30A with a (U.S. Air Force) boom operator.”

With 15 years of experience on a KC-135 Stratotanker, Haas works to get his students trained and qualified. By the end of their one-year course, the Royal Australian Air Force students will be able to perform duties such as mid-air refueling, load multiple aircraft and run procedures and checklists.

These newly trained individuals will become what the equivalent of a U.S. Air Force boom operator is.

“Master Sgt. Haas has brought a wealth of air-to-air refueling experience to the 33rd Squadron as we continue to build our air refueling operator workforce,” said Royal Australian Air Force Flight Lt. Ben Howlett, 33rd Squadron air refueling operator. “Operating in an instructor role, he has increased our capability to qualify and train, while also providing input to improving our procedures and safety in operating air-to-air refueling in particular boom operations, which is new to the (Royal Australian Air Force).”

Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley is the only location in the world that a U.S. Air Force boom operator is on exchange. Haas is the third person to have this opportunity, and he has one year remaining in his position in Australia.

“The exchange program as a whole allows (U.S. Air Force) to continue building partnerships, and I’m honored to have helped this effort with the (Royal Australian Air Force),” said Haas. “They are two completely different air forces but have similar readiness goals and objectives, and I hope to leave this squadron a little better and a little safer than when I got here.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
The #AirForce Technical Applications Center is giving its #Airmen the opportunity to #failforward, all in the name… https://t.co/tMmKfSzUbi
.@SJAFB reestablishes normal base operations as assets are returned from @TeamBarksdale after #HurricaneFlorence.… https://t.co/3PmGvsQV7c
It's that time agian, #AirForce #WIP! Which one is your favorite? https://t.co/nrONG4ourq https://t.co/dlO25CucXx
.@AFResearchLab materials & manufacturing directorate is leading a design & prototyping effort to ensure #C5M Super… https://t.co/tUQkbapg3z
’We’re a team’: First husband-wife pilots to fly the #B2 retire from the #AirForce. https://t.co/UjxTDfIhVh https://t.co/Ws0TpPgih5
RT @USAFHealth: Air Force surgeons at the David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. performed the first Air Force-only li…
Nearly 100 #USAF #Airmen trained with 11 partner nation Air Forces during Ex #AngelDeLosAndeshttps://t.co/CcNBEGM4fy
"#Resilient choices equal resilient #Airmen," - #CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright offers advice on taking care of Airmen from… https://t.co/Q7yQ96tWqc
At this year's #ASC18, @SecAFOfficial spoke about the #USAF we need verses the #AirForce we have. https://t.co/b4id1eXriH
"We all need to grab an oar...and row," - @GenDaveGoldfein on the five multiple domains to achieve multiple objecti… https://t.co/uSEcbxBPp2
.@SchrieverAFB #Airman found his creative passion at the bottom of a fruit bowl. https://t.co/SeSTzAmLA3 https://t.co/gB5FhNRmBc
Oregon #AirNationalGuardsmen become first #Airmen to compete in the @USArmy's Best Warrior Competition.… https://t.co/Nj4pObitF9
The #AirForce has work to do! @GenDaveGoldfein outlines what's needed to prepare for #MultidomainOperations. https://t.co/KMuzyvPzMI
.@HollomanAFB & its co-located units will realign from @USAF_ACC to @AETCommand, effective Oct. 1.… https://t.co/UkCYJQoZzn
Identical twins share near-identical military careers as #USAF security forces #Airmen. https://t.co/odHGdsgsOe https://t.co/2DUsDK6CIR
Thousands of #Airmen have found support through our Exceptional Family Member Program, which allows them to proceed… https://t.co/OVSsRLN6F7
Hear @GenDaveGoldfein expound on what it takes to modernize #AirForce squadrons for future missions. https://t.co/a6F0tRfMxU
If you aren't taking advantage of #FollowFriday by following @Creech_AFB you are missing out on the famed "Hunters"… https://t.co/omTO945zAf
May we never forget, National #POWMIA Recognition Day. https://t.co/Oyu82RbIRO
RT @HQ_AFMC: Dr. Will Roper, assistant secretary of the @usairforce Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, was one of the featured speake…