Japanese military aircraft have not always been so welcome in Australia, but a visit by one of the country’s C-130H airlifters to RAAF Base Richmond last week was billed as an historic symbol of strengthening military ties between the two nations.
The transport aircraft arrived at Richmond on Wednesday for a three day visit aimed at improving cooperation on future operations, particularly disaster relief efforts. The visit came one year after RAAF C-17 provided assistance to Japan in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
“Responding to a natural disaster often requires us to deliver a short notice response and for a sustained period, which makes our relationships with foreign partners so important,” Group Captain Don Sutherland, commander of the RAAF’s No. 84 Wing, said. “This is an opportunity for our Hercules aircrew and maintainers to speak to members of the JASDF, brief each other on our capabilities, fly on our aircraft and understand how each side works.”