HomeNewsArticle Display

US Air Force exchange officer soars with partners down under

U.S. Air Force Maj. Thomas Larner, Royal Australian Air Force No. 1 Squadron F/A-18F Super Hornet weapon systems officer, is serving as an exchange officer at RAAF Base Amberley, Australia, as part of the U.S. Air Force military personnel exchange program. The exchange program is a special duty assignment that allows Airmen to integrate into military units of foreign allies with the intent of building, sustaining and expanding international relationships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeanette Mullinax)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Thomas Larner, Royal Australian Air Force No. 1 Squadron F/A-18F Super Hornet weapon systems officer, is serving as an exchange officer at RAAF Base Amberley, Australia, as part of the U.S. Air Force military personnel exchange program. The exchange program is a special-duty assignment that allows Airmen to integrate into military units of foreign allies with the intent of building, sustaining and expanding international relationships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeanette Mullinax)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Thomas Larner, Royal Australian Air Force No. 1 Squadron F/A-18F Super Hornet weapon systems officer, is serving as an exchange officer at RAAF Base Amberley, Australia, as part of the U.S. Air Force military personnel exchange program. The exchange program is a special duty assignment that allows Airmen to integrate into military units of foreign allies with the intent of building, sustaining and expanding international relationships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeanette Mullinax)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Thomas Larner, Royal Australian Air Force No. 1 Squadron F/A-18F Super Hornet weapon systems officer, is serving as an exchange officer at RAAF Base Amberley, Australia, as part of the U.S. Air Force military personnel exchange program. The exchange program is a special duty assignment that allows Airmen to integrate into military units of foreign allies with the intent of building, sustaining and expanding international relationships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeanette Mullinax)

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE BASE AMBERLEY, Australia (AFNS) --

When Maj. Thomas Larner commissioned in the U.S. Air Force, he knew he wanted to be a part of the fighter community. What he didn’t know was where that dream would take him.

“I remember attending my first air show in Philadelphia as a young boy and thinking, ‘man, I want to do that someday,’” Larner said. “I fell in love with fighters and pursued that dream. Now, I’m serving as a weapon systems officer in Australia flying (F/A-18F) Super Hornets.”

Larner is serving with the Royal Australian Air Force No. 1 Squadron, based at RAAF Base Amberley, Australia, as part of the U.S. Air Force military personnel exchange program. The program allows service members the opportunity to integrate into military units of foreign allies through a one-for-one exchange of personnel.

“The goal of the exchange program is to build those relationships, learn each other’s capabilities, learn each other’s family values, and when it comes to the jet, learn each other’s tactics,” Larner said.

Through mutual understanding of allied forces’ procedures, program participants increase each host nation’s ability to perform coalition operations with global partners. During a visit to Australia, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein emphasized the significance of the unique partnership of Australia and the U.S.

“We are committed to maintaining this close relationship that we've had for over a hundred years now,” Goldfein said. “It is important for us to ensure that we stand together in preserving access to the global commons and our ability to operate where and when we need to.”

While the exchange program opens international doors for Airmen to develop professionally, Larner described how a tour in Australia also impacts a service member’s personal life.

“When we found out that we were going to Australia, my wife and I, along with the kids, went out and celebrated,” Larner said. “It's a journey to take your family and uproot them, especially taking your children out of schools, and moving to a whole new country.”

Although Australia and the U.S. share a common language, Larner and his family have picked up slight differences through communicating with the locals.

“Every couple days I hear a new Australian phrase that catches me off guard,” Larner said. “I have picked up the key term of ‘no worries.’ It’s learning every day.”

As the Larner family has made the most of Australia on land, Larner has also spread his wings as a versatile asset within the fighter community.

Starting his career as an F-15E Strike Eagle weapon systems officer, his assignment to the Australian Defence Force’s No. 1 Squadron has allowed him to fly an aircraft that he would not normally be able to fly in the U.S. Air Force. The F/A-18F Super Hornet entered service with the U.S. Navy in 2001 and was later established as the Royal Australian Air Force's main fighter aircraft in 2010 when No. 1 Squadron was declared the first Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F operational squadron.

A previous tour with the U.S. Air Force 390th Electronic Combat Squadron stationed Larner at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington, where he served alongside the Navy’s Electronic Attack Squadron 132. He accredits his experience flying E/A-18G Growlers there with establishing him as an exchange officer candidate serving in Australia.

With a partnered military alliance of more than 100 years, Larner notes the common goals of Australia and the U.S. have made it easy for the two nations to grow together tactically.

“The Australian Defence Force is a very elite force, very smart and very talented group of aviators,” he said. “To work with them has been a great honor.”

Engage

Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr discussed "Accelerate Change or Lose" during a fireside chat with @MEaglen at the 2021 Virtual Aeros… https://t.co/22jfLvySOE
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr discusses how the #USAF is working to #AccelerateChange at the 2021 Virtual Aerospace Warfare Sympos… https://t.co/sW3megZoiS
Twitter
RT @SpaceForceDoD: Don't miss @SpaceForceCSO Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond's fireside chat with @neiltyson Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. EST during #vAWS
Twitter
RT @PACAF: #DYK: We have a program designed to reduce risk to aircrews/aircraft & surrounding community by reducing the risk of bird strike…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting SecAF Roth & @GenCQBrownJr flew on a #KC46 with @AirMobilityCmd #Airmen this week to learn more about the @USAirF
Twitter
Join @GenCQBrownJr's fireside chat with @MEaglen on accelerating change in the #USAF at 10 AM EST.… https://t.co/NYUfzC4B9d
Twitter
Join @cmsaf_official JoAnne Bass, Chief Master Sergeant of @SpaceForceDoD Roger Towberman and @thejointstaff #SEAC4https://t.co/kne8oL31kX
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: I recently visited several bases and saw how empowered, multi-capable #Airmen are driving the common sense changes requir…
Twitter
RT @AirForceAssoc: Tune in today at 0900 EST for #vAWS2021! https://t.co/3znoc5LrXF
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Well done to all who had a role in this test launch and for keeping the Nation's strategic deterrent force #AlwaysReady!…
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr, @cmsaf_official and more will take part in @AirForceAssoc's 2021 Virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposi… https://t.co/d7NDRPgi3f
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: 🚨🚨 #BomberTaskForce Update 🚨🚨 USAF B-1B Lancers have arrived to Norway in support of upcoming #BTF missions. They are…
Twitter
Nearly 30 years after combat ended Feb. 28, 1991, #DesertStorm’s influence on the #AirForce and @SpaceForceDoD rema… https://t.co/ghmYOP50fr
Twitter
Twitter
The 2020 Vice Chief’s Challenge "Saving Airmen Time" results were announced. The 15 winning submissions were select… https://t.co/zDMQoiLDWD
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,329,617
Follow Us