June 21 (UPI) -- A cross-servicing agreement for C-17A Globemaster transport planes was announced on Friday between the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force.
The arrangement allows U.S. and Australian C-17A technicians to conduct maintenance activities on each other's aircraft. Similar agreements between cooperating air forces are common, but each plane model requires a separate, formal arrangement. Negotiations between the United States and Australia for cross-servicing of the C-130J Hercules are in progress, and integration activities involving the P-8A Poseidon and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter are planned.
"Our C-17A workforce regularly shares a tarmac with American C-17As, whether we are on exercise at home, or deployed across the globe," Air Vice-Marshal Steve Roberton, Air Commander Australia, said in a statement from the Australian Defense Department. "Whilst a USAF C-17A is no different from a RAAF C-17A, our air forces have different maintenance workforce structures, which is what makes an arrangement like this essential. By making it easier to help one another, this arrangement provides flexibility and mission assuredness for USAF and RAAF C-17A missions."
The C-17 is primarily used as a cargo and troop transport plane. It has been built by McDonnell-Douglas and by Boeing since 1991.