Local

May 30, 2018
 

56th LRS receives supplies, strengthens partnership with RAAF Airmen

Staff Sgt. Jensen Stidham
Luke AFB, Ariz.

An Australian C-17 Globemaster III taxis at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., May 23, 2018. The C-17 arrived with cargo for the Royal Australian Air Force Airmen training with the 61st Fighter Squadron.

The 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., supported the Royal Australian Air Force by offloading supplies from an Australian C-17 Globemaster III May 23.

The first RAAF F-35A Lightning II arrived at Luke in December 2014 and Australian and United States Airmen have been training together daily since in the 61st Fighter Squadron.

After the C-17 landed 56th LRS air transportation Airmen assisted the Australian aircrew by offloading the new supplies and transporting them to their assigned location.

“A lot of planning and coordination takes place prior to the arrival of any aircraft, but especially for our international partners,” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Meade, 56th LRS air transportation craftsman. “It usually takes a few weeks of coordination.”

Tech. Sgt. Gerald Clark, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of small air terminal, controls a K-Loader at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., May 23, 2018. A K-Loader can offload several pallets of materials and supplies from a C-17 in a short amount of time.

Assisting international partners isn’t as common on Air Force installations around the U.S., but for some Luke Thunderbolts it’s an everyday occurrence.

“Cooperation like this helps strengthen our bonds immensely with our international partners,” said Meade. “Not only do we build trust between one another but we build friendships, which allows us to learn from and lean on one another.”

As Australian Airmen continue to train at Luke the relationship between U.S. Airmen and RAAF Airmen will continue to strengthen.

“It’s a very rewarding feeling,” said Meade. “I’m grateful for not only myself but the younger Airmen who are awarded the opportunity to work with our international partners.”

By the end of the year Australia is scheduled to have eight F-35s at Luke flying alongside U.S. pilots as they build the future of airpower.
 

Airmen assigned to the 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron prepare to offload a pallet from an Australian C-17 Globemaster III at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., May 23, 2018. Since December 2014, the Royal Australian Air Force has trained F-35 pilots alongside United State Air Force pilots as part of the 61st Fighter Squadron.

 

Airman 1st Class Joel Schwind, 56th Logistic Readiness Squadron air transportation journeyman, directs Tech. Sgt. Gerald Clark, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of small air terminal, on the flight line at Luke Air force Base, Ariz., May 23, 2018. The team offloaded a pallet of supplies in support of Royal Australian Air Force’s F-35 training mission at Luke.

 

Airmen assigned to the 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron small air terminal, deliver a pallet of supplies to the Royal Australian Air Force at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., May 23, 2018. The team offloaded the pallet from an Australian C-17 Globemaster III that arrived to deliver the cargo.




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