The Aussie Exchange

The Aussie Exchange: On some USAF KC-135 aerial refueling sorties the cockpit voices have a decidedly “down under” flavor. Royal Australian Air Force pilots vie for a chance to train and fly US Air Force tankers. Each must have a minimum of 1,500 flying hours, and Aussie instructor pilots have an edge in the selection process for the three-year exchange program. From learning Federal Aviation Administration rules to escorting space shuttle flights, the Australians have high praise for the program. “There are limited opportunities to do this type of assignment,” said Flight Lt. Trevor Wright, one of two RAAF pilots assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron at Fairchild AFB, Wash. He added, “It expands our career opportunities back home.”