56 LRS receives supplies, strengthens partnership with RAAF Airmen
By Staff Sgt. Jensen Stidham, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 29, 2018
LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron 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 here 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.”
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.