Crews from the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and the US Air Force recently flew a RC-135W Rivet Joint aircraft on a first-of-a-kind sortie.
The mission, flown by an aircraft of the USAF 55th Wing, from Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, was taking part in exercise Resolute Hunter.
This exercise was a joint service exercise sponsored by Air Combat Command and Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Centre at the US Naval Air Station Fallon Range Training Complex located in the high desert of northern Nevada near Reno.
The sortie was designed to promote joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance interoperability between the three air forces. This first ever mission also highlights the expanding manned ISR partnership between the three allied nations as the three services develop common insights and operational tactics.
The unique mission was flown after the three countries launched the trilateral AUKUS initiative to share defense technology knowledge in what has been perceived as a bid to counter China.
The exercise in northern Nevada builds upon the commonality of the USAF/RAAF/RAF manned ISR aircraft and technology, together with reviewing existing processes to enable closer integration to ensure the three services can work together against near-peer competitors.
Royal Air Force said the exercise would help pave the way for greater co-operation and mission integration in the future. In addition, this further strengthens the developing ties between the RAF and RAAF who are working closely on the E-7 Wedgetail capability which will enter service with the RAF in the future.
“This was a ground-breaking RC-135W Rivet Joint mission, co-crewed by RAF, USAF and RAAF personnel, paving the way for even greater AUKUS interoperability and cooperation in the future,” Royal Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston commented.