The United States and Australia have agreed to a cross-servicing arrangement for the repair and maintenance of C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlifters.
The establishment of an Aircraft Repair and Maintenance Service – Implementing Arrangement (ARMS-IA) will further increase interoperability between both nation’s C-17A workforces. This can range from contingency maintenance when C-17As are away from home base on a task, through to exercises or operations when C-17A workforces are deployed together.
Brigadier General (BRIG GEN) Steve Bleymaier, U.S. Air Force (USAF) Air Mobility Command Director of Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, said partnerships such as this were vital for air mobility.
“Mobility airmen are always ready to deliver strength and hope anywhere in the world at any time,” BRIG GEN Bleymaier said. “We are most successful when we work with valued partners like our Australian counterparts.
Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Steve Roberton, Air Commander Australia, said the arrangement would provide much-needed flexibility for the USAF and RAAF.
“Our C-17A workforce regularly shares a tarmac with American C-17As, whether we are on exercise together at home, or deployed across the globe,” AVM Roberton said.
“Whilst a USAF C-17A is no different from a RAAF C-17A, our air forces have different maintenance workforce structures, which is what makes an arrangement like this essential. By making it easier to help one another, this arrangement provides flexibility and mission assuredness for USAF and RAAF C-17A missions.”
The signing of this arrangement follows C-17A maintenance integration activities conducted in 2017 under the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) program. This involved USAF C-17A technicians conducting maintenance activities with their RAAF counterparts.
In the Asia Pacific, RAAF and USAF C-17A crews have supported relief operations in the Philippines and Japan, as well as worked together on Exercises Mobility Guardian and Talisman Sabre. Both nation’s C-17As are essential to supporting deployed operations, including those in the Middle East.
“This arrangement focuses on the C-17A workforce, but will ultimately benefit the organisations deployed across the globe who rely on a C-17A to sustain them,” AVM Roberton said.
“In the Asia-Pacific, it makes sense for us to capitalise on our existing close relationship, pool resources when possible, and increase our C-17A capability even further. I look forward to similar EAC cooperation and ARMS arrangements being conducted for other aircraft common to Australia and the United States.”
In 2018, C-130J Hercules aircraft maintenance interoperability activities were conducted as part of EAC, and an implementing arrangement for cross servicing for C-130J is underway. Future maintenance integration activities are projected for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.