Australian Air Force pilots have flexed their might in a massive training exercise with the American military, just a month after four troops were killed during Operation Talisman Sabre.
More than 200 Royal Australian Air Force troops were involved in Exercise Red Flag Alaska – a joint training exercise alongside the American military – which wrapped on Friday.
RAAF aircrews took part in the exercise, designed to replicate a combat experience, at the Joint Alaska Pacific Range Complex which stretches across 174,000 square-kilometres.
“The exercise was conducted in the Alaskan airspace which is very different to back home in Australia,” Group Captain Matthew McCormack said.
“It challenges our people to build on their skills through realistic training in a deployed environment to ensure they are ready to deliver air power for Australia.”
Group Captain Matthew McCormack said the RAAF troops were put through realistic combat training in the unfamiliar Alaskan wilderness.
Personnel from the US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps also took part.
“Any future conflict is going to be conducted with our allies and partners,” US Air Force Colonel Curtis W. Dougherty said.
“Red Flag gives us the opportunity to test tactics, techniques and procedures together so that in the event of a coalition when our allied and joint partners have to get together and execute our nation‘s calling, we are ready on day one.”
Australian personnel took part in the exercise less than a month after four soldiers died when a military helicopter crashed off the Queensland coast during exercise Talisman Sabre.
Captain Danniel Lyon, Lieutenant Maxwell Nugent, Warrant Officer Joseph Laycock and Corporal Alexander Naggs died in the accident off Lindeman Island.
Unidentified human remains were found near the suspected crash site within the first week of searching.
Australia’s Taipan fleet was grounded in the wake of the MRH-90 crash.