By Senior Airman Miranda A. Loera, 57th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 17, 2020
A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) loadmaster watches as pallets of fire suppressant are loaded onto an Australian C-17 Globemaster III, January 16, 2020, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The RAAF has been working to secure extra materials to aid in the fighting of Australian wildfires. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jeremy Wentworth)
Members of the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron and the Royal Australian Air Force prepare an Australian C-17 Globemaster III to receive cargo of fire suppressant, January 16, 2020, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The cargo is intended to aid Australia as it combats wildfires, which have been burning since September 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jeremy Wentworth)
Members of the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron and the Royal Australian Air Force push a pallet of fire suppressant up the ramp of an Australian C-17 Globemaster III, January 16, 2020 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Airmen from the United States and Australian Air Forces worked together to load the aircraft so that the materials could be delivered back to Australia to aid in wildfire relief. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jeremy Wentworth/Released)
Bundles of fire suppressant are placed on pallets and awaiting transfer at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., January 13, 2019. The Royal Australian Air Force partnered with Nellis to provide bundles of supplies to Australia as the country fights ongoing wildfires. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Miranda A. Loera)
Australians have been battling devastating wildfires since September of last year. More than 13 million acres have burned across the country as fire fighters and emergency responders continue to battle the blazes.
Members of the Royal Australian Air Force and Nellis Air Force Base teamed up to load more than 50 bundles of fire suppressant and other critical firefighting equipment onto three RAAF C-17s so it could be delivered to the Australian Emergency authorities and Rural Fire Service.
The Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, was thankful of the support of the United States Air Force and United States stakeholders assisting with this movement of supplies.
“The Royal Australian Air Force deeply appreciates the offer of help from the United States Air Force,” said Air Marshal Hupfeld. “The Australian people are comforted to know that in times of need, we have great friends like the United States who are ready to lend a hand. This is yet another example of the strength of our long-term friendship between our countries.”
The 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron provided help throughout the entire process. Airmen from both Air Forces worked alongside each other to load the aircraft quickly and efficiently so they could get back to Australia with the vital equipment.
“Our LRS experts are skilled at prepping and loading all kinds of cargo and equipment into various airframes for transport across the world,” said Lt. Col. Danielle Kirk, 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander. “We were happy to assist our partners with prepping and loading the locally-sourced fire suppressant to help with the fires in Australia.”
Because of the teamwork by Airmen of both nations, the C-17s were able to quickly return with the much-needed fire suppressant.