SOUTHWEST ASIA, –
U.S. Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force fire fighters, from different installations in the same area of responsibility, have successfully created an exchange training program while in support of Operation Inherent Resolve here.
380th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters have trained alongside RAAF firefighters from a nearby Australian logistics installation on a weekly basis for the last three months.
Senior Master Sgt. Todd, U.S. Air Force 380 ECES Fire Prevention inspector, assisted in the development of the exchange program with RAAF fire manager Flight Sgt. Evans.
“This experience, even just as a coordinator, has been awesome and I have made friends that I'm sure will last the rest of my life,” Senior Master Sgt. Todd said. “No matter where I go, or what country I'm in, I can walk into a fire house and be among my brothers. The brotherhood of being a firefighter is universal and even over comes language barriers.”
The multi-national firefighters shared differing techniques and firefighting fundamentals while serving day-to-day in a deployed environment.
“It doesn't matter what country or fire service you’re from. We are all one big brotherhood when it comes to being fire fighters, irrespective of nationality,” RAAF firefighter Sgt. Humphry said. “I Hope that this interaction continues with each and every rotation because the door has been opened for a continuing dialogue between the two nations and services, which have a common goal.”
The training exercises focused on responding to emergencies on active flight lines, structural fire procedures and developing an environment that fosters relationship growth.
“It is a priceless opportunity to be able to forge bonds and build lifelong relationships with military service members from other countries,” U.S. Air Force fire fighter Tech Sgt. Christopher said. “The fire service is an ever changing career field so any opportunity we have to expand and build upon the basic fundamentals especially from coalition forces is priceless.”
Service members from both nations shared an interest in continuing the training opportunities between the installations in the future.