NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Australians have been battling devastating wildfires since September 2019. More than 13 million acres have burned across the country as firefighters 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-17 Globemaster III aircraft for delivery to the Australian Emergency authorities and Rural Fire Service.
The Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, was thankful for the support of the United States Air Force and United States stakeholders assisting with this movement of supplies.
Bundles of fire suppressant await transfer at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Jan. 13, 2019. The Royal Australian Air Force partnered with Nellis AFB to provide bundles of supplies to Australia as the country fights ongoing wildfires. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Miranda A. Loera)
“The Royal Australian Air Force deeply appreciates the offer of help from the United States Air Force,” Hupfeld said. “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 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.”