Australian Army 2nd Commando Regiment

Exercise Global Dexterity brings heavy lifters Down Under

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Australian Army soldiers from 2nd Commando Regiment

Australian Army soldiers from 2nd Commando Regiment prepare to conduct a military free-fall parachute jump from a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III aircraft near RAAF Base Richmond, NSW, as part of Exercise Global Dexterity. RAAF Base Amberley from 24 April to 5 May 2023. Photographer LACW Taylor Anderson © Australian Department of Defence

Exercise Global Dexterity 23-2 brought together C-17A Globemaster aircraft from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia for a series of air mobility training missions.

Held at RAAF Base Amberley from November 27 to December 8, the exercise continued the close ties built in previous years between the RAAF's No 36 Squadron and the United States Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) 535th Airlift Squadron, travelling from Hawaii.

For the first time, the Royal Air Force (RAF) No 99 Squadron will participate in the exercise from December 1 onwards.

Exercise Global Dexterity is held twice a year, and provides an opportunity for C-17A aircrew and technicians to build aviator-level relationships with foreign counterparts.

Wing Commander Scott Hyland, Commanding Officer of RAAF No 36 Squadron, said these relationships ensured RAAF aviators could support operations at short-notice.

“The C-17A is well-suited to delivering critical personnel and large amounts of cargo across the Indo-Pacific, but the people and our relationships are what allow us to do this quickly and effectively,” Wing Commander Hyland said.

“Through Exercise Global Dexterity, we've built a relationship with the United States PACAF C-17A community that allows us to fly and fix each other's aircraft as a blended workforce, greatly increasing our flexibility during operations.”

“The value of these aircraft and their workforce is evident when we deploy together in the region, whether it be in support of peacekeeping operations, non-combatant evacuations, or to deliver a time-critical response to a natural disaster.”

Exercise Global Dexterity 23-2 will involve low-level formation training around western Sydney, high-level air-to-air refuelling from RAAF KC-30As, and deployed operations to RAAF Bases Townsville and Scherger in northern Queensland.

“With the cooperation of the Papua New Guinea Government, we will also conduct air mobility missions to Papua New Guinea during Exercise Global Dexterity 23-2,” Wing Commander Hyland said.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to test our skills in Papua New Guinea, which is one of the world's most complex flying environments. The training we achieve during Exercise Global Dexterity ensures that we can deliver help anywhere in the Indo-Pacific.”

“We welcome the United Kingdom's debut in Exercise Global Dexterity, and believe it will yield great benefit to the wider Indo-Pacific community on future operations, and we thank the Government and community of Papua New Guinea for their support.”

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