Australia and the United States have signed a cross-servicing arrangement for the repair and maintenance of C-17A Globemaster transport aircraft.
The Aircraft Repair and Maintenance Service Implementing Arrangement (ARMS-IA) would permit C-17A technicians from the United States Air Force (USAF) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to conduct cross-servicing maintenance activities on each other’s aircraft when co-deployed or if on exercise together.
This would provide greater flexibility to joint C-17A operations, Defence said in a statement on June 21.
The RAAF operates eight C-17As from RAAF Base Amberley with 36SQN, while the USAF has about 220 C-17As in service.
“Our C-17A workforce regularly shares a tarmac with American C-17As, whether we are on exercise at home, or deployed across the globe,” Air Commander Australia AVM Steve Roberton said in a statement.
“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 the ARMS-IA followed C-17A maintenance integration activities that involved C-17A technicians from both countries conducted in 2017 under the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) program.
“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,” Air Vice-Marshal Roberton said.
“In the Asia-Pacific, it makes sense for us to capitalise on our existing close relationship, pool resources where possible, and increase our C-17A capability even further.
Defence said a similar implementing arrangement between the United States and Australia for the C-130J Hercules was underway. Looking further ahead, there were also integration activities to cover the P-8A Poseidon and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter planned.
VIDEO: A look at the C-17A Globemaster on a Mission to Antarctica in 2015 from the RAAF YouTube channel.