US, Australia strengthen alliance at Dover AFB
By Master Sgt. Chuck Broadway, 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 22, 2021
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AFNS) --
The U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program is a form of partnership the United States has with more than 180 countries and international organizations to transfer defense articles, services and training to international partners.
One of the steps in the FMS program is the procurement of materials by a partner country. Due to its strategic geographic location, Dover Air Force Base regularly supports FMS operations through the 436th Aerial Port Squadron. The “Super Port,” as it is known, is the largest aerial port in the Department of Defense and supports approximately $3.5 billion worth of FMS cases annually.
Last month, Australia completed an FMS transfer of materials at Dover AFB, in just the latest example of the steadfast, 80-year partnership with the U.S. armed forces.
“We cooperate closely with Australia to advance security and stability across the Indo-Pacific region,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Todd Dozier, director of regional affairs for the deputy under secretary of the Air Force, international affairs. “The FMS program is an important part of that. It fosters long-term relationships that deepen interoperability and create a stronger combined warfighting team.”
The cargo consisted of precision-guided weapons for use by the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force, to include replenishment of munitions employed during recent testing, training and operational deployment.
“Australia has an extensive history of FMS with the United States, including many engagements between the Australian Defence Force and United States Department of Defense,” said Squadron Leader Brett Aaker, executive officer for the RAAF No. 36 Squadron, the unit carried the cargo back to Australia from Dover AFB. “The RAAF is extremely well-supported throughout global U.S. Department of Defense establishments. Being another C-17A hub, Dover Air Force Base possesses an adept group of talented individuals who consistently make us feel at home.”
As a partner in the Indo-Pacific region, the RAAF also operates a fleet of eight C-17A Globemaster III aircraft, which were purchased via FMS, providing Australia with an unprecedented capacity for strategic airlift to rapidly deploy troops, supplies, combat vehicles, and heavy equipment anywhere in the world.
“The sheer expanse of the Indo-Pacific region requires the reach and speed of air mobility to enable responsive and agile logistics and force projection,” said Air Commodore Carl Newman, RAAF Air Mobility Group commander. “Access to quality air mobility bases, like Dover Air Force Base, is essential and requires strong relationships to leverage the services of those bases that are necessary to enable air mobility.”
Newman added the two air forces have very common interests and air mobility bases routinely support each other’s requirements when it is needed most.
“Dover Air Force Base remains committed to being the world’s premier airlift wing,” said Col. Matthew Jones, 436th Airlift Wing commander. “We are proud to support our many partner nations, such as Australia, with the FMS mission and stand ready when our nation calls for rapid global airlift.”