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 #TotalForce is here and representing at #ASC19. Here's a lineup of tomorrow's events. https://t.co/vxAw3uzlVR
USAF is speaking with #Airmen attending #ASC19 and learning more about their conference experiences. Watch to hear… https://t.co/x5bYJT3oxA
#ICYMI, some of our stellar #Airmen were honored today at the #ASC19 with an awards ceremony. See them here: https://t.co/aqPYQqyiS6
#DrWillRoper: These are the things we need to trend in our #USAF. We need to make these go viral. #deftAFhttps://t.co/p4OUvVMSwi
To maintain a competitive acquisitions system we have to change as the world changes. https://t.co/r4vx6BDgS8
.@ActingSecAF: It truly has been an honor of a lifetime to serve with you these last few months as Acting Secretary… https://t.co/xugoAsWNQq
.@ActingSecAF: We’re building a 21st century force for the Information Age & we can’t do it w/o you. Your ideas, yo… https://t.co/XyKxI3AFQJ
.@ActingSecAF: As @GenDaveGoldfein has maintained, victory is not a birthright, it has to be fought for! America ha… https://t.co/WBlqoHveh4
.@ActingSecAF: Data, information, technology…these are the things that will ensure we compete, deter & win against… https://t.co/tO9igNFFlF
.@ActingSecAF: If the entire @DeptofDefense transitioned to conditioned based mx we could save as much as $15B/yr.… https://t.co/OGFAxl94FM
.@ActingSecAF: We kicked off an initiative in the #USAF working w/ industry to install & sustain #5G networks at 10… https://t.co/rUb5MMrCFv
.@ActingSecAF: The government must spin on tech advancements from industry & the private sector. The same tech that… https://t.co/gMOSFfM2V5
.@ActingSecAF: The #DigitalAF is a transformation in the way we employ data, tech, & infrastructure to remain dominant in the 21st century.
.@ActingSecAF: Instead of relying on one specific platform for future C2, we’re developing a robust open architectu… https://t.co/JfMwoMlQu0
.@ActingSecAF: It will take true teamwork across all forces and domains to meet the difficult challenges posed by future adversaries.
.@ActingSecAF: Victory in combat will depend less on discrete warfighting platforms & more on the networks, data, a… https://t.co/KmrtRj4CRH
.@ActingSecAF: It’s time we truly harness the power of the Information Age and reclaim our significant competitive technological advantage.
.@ActingSecAF: While we need to get bigger, we must also get better. #AirForceWeNeed