USAF aircraft participate in USMC-ADF joint exercise

4 September 2020 (Last Updated September 4th, 2020 15:24)

Aircraft B-2 Spirits and B-1 Lancers have taken part in a joint US Marine Corps (USMC) and Australian Defence Forces (ADF) exercise in the Northern Territory of Australia.

USAF aircraft participate in USMC-ADF joint exercise
Within the training scenario, a combined team of US Marines and Australian Defence Forces provided target information to US Air Force bombers conducting deep strikes on notional targets. Credit: Cpl. Harrison Rakhshani.

Aircraft B-2 Spirits and B-1 Lancers have taken part in a joint US Marine Corps (USMC) and Australian Defence Forces (ADF) exercise in the Northern Territory of Australia.

The aircraft provided long-distance air strikes as part of a joint task force with the ADF and Marine Rotational Force-Darwin.

The 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron’s (EBS) B-2s were deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to Naval Support Facility, Diego Garcia in the British Indian Territory. The USAF B-1B Lancers were deployed to Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base.

Furthermore, KC-135s squadron from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron at Japan’s Kadena Air Base flew to Darwin to aid the bombers.

The joint exercise focused on the ability of the small expeditionary fleet to deploy quickly in a controversial environment, integrate with allies, coordinate raids, and require close air support for targets.

During this period, the MRF-D and ADF Joint Terminal Air Controller (JTAC) coordinated raids with the aircraft and handed over the same aircraft to a tactical unit for dynamic targeting.

Australian Army Sgt Aaron Costes said: “It’s imperative that the US Marine Corps and Australian Army work together.

“It’s such a feat that we can infill and have an aircraft come in from such long distances.”

USAF Bomber Task Force commander Lt Col Christopher Conant said: “Airman and marines integrate seamlessly together because we speak the same language.

“We both understand how to manoeuvre cognitively and physically to achieve an objective.”

In June, the first group of approximately 200 US Marines with the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) arrived at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin.