VCSAF emphasizes US, Australian air force collaboration to solve roadblocks to change

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Jim Slife emphasized the continued importance of the U.S. and Royal Australian Air Forces tearing down roadblocks and increasing interoperability during the annual Air Senior National Representatives Forum at RAAF Base Williamtown, Newcastle, Australia.

ASNR is a bilateral U.S. Air Force - RAAF engagement established in 2000 with a mission to identify, promote and, where practical, exploit areas of mutual interest to develop interoperable and integrated airpower. Collaboration during ASNR represents a long-term and enduring commitment to the future.

“We have been training and fighting side-by-side for well over 100 years. It is more important now than ever to expand and deepen that relationship.” U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Jim Slife

The theme of this year’s forum was Achieving Compatibility through Change.

“The Department of the Air Force is working tirelessly to reoptimize for today’s security environment,” Slife said. “That environment demands we expand the framework of this forum to be more focused, measurable, and productive, as competition among great powers is the defining characteristic of today’s security environment. The alliance between Australia and the United States is a linchpin of security in the Indo-Pacific region and our air forces are committed to doing our part to ensure our alliance is as strong and integrated as possible.”

The forum provided bilateral discussions between the two nations to plan and expedite actives aimed at enhancing combined interoperability in an increasingly dynamic warfighting domain.

“Prioritising partnerships is a key priority of our National Defence Strategy, and a deep relationship with the United States is a key requirement for successful deterrence,” said Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Reynolds, the Royal Australian Deputy Chief of Air Force. “This week we have focused on how to leverage our competitive advantage through the service relationship we enjoy with the United States Air Force. This forum has laid the groundwork for us to move ahead with focus and urgency to remove barriers to interoperability to develop improved integrated long-range strike and airpower projection capacity, both from our northern bases and regionally.”

Combined efforts between the U.S. and RAAF air forces include integration between U.S. bomber and RAAF aircraft assets for recurring Bomber Task Force missions, and through combined exercises like Viper Walk in March 2024, which focused on expeditionary health as well as improving partnership and interoperability.

“The United States and Australia share many of the same values, interests, and concerns with challenges to the rules-based international order which has provided stability and economic prosperity for freedom-loving peoples around the world for eighty years. Now is the time for us to double-down on the foundational relationships which have made this possible, and our alliance with Australia is in the front rank of those relationships” Slife said. “The engagements our air forces did over the last week will chart the course of work ahead of us in the next year to remove obstacles to closer integration while enabling us to seize opportunities for enhanced warfighting effectiveness. The enhanced warfighting effectiveness we pursue together will be central to our goal of deterring conflict while also being prepared to prevail should conflict erupt.”