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NEWS | March 2, 2023

Pacific Air Forces Commander Opens Australia Airshow, Aerospace & Defence Exposition

By Tech. Sgt. Hailey Haux Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

AVALON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Australia -- Gen. Ken Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) commander, highlighted the strength of the U.S.-Australia alliance at the opening ceremony for AVALON – the 2023 Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition – Feb. 28.

AVALON 23 is Australia’s premier aerospace exhibition – airshow and tradeshow – offering an opportunity for partner nations to enhance relationships and boost regional security through expanded military-to-military cooperation. The event is scheduled to host 22 military service chiefs and numerous civilian defense dignitaries from more than 40 countries.

“The U.S. and Australia have a long history of cooperation in air and space,” said Wilsbach, noting that the birthplace of PACAF – or Far East Air Forces as it was known in 1944 – was in Brisbane, Australia. “At this very moment, somewhere in the Indo-Pacific, our forces are operating together propagating our strategy and advancing shared interests between the U.S. and Australia.”

PACAF’s steadfast relationship with Australia, deeply rooted in common principles and shared values, stems from working together daily across a full spectrum of operations.

“There’s no other country with whom the U.S. trains more closely, operates more seamlessly and with whom we share more of our most sensitive technologies,” said U.S. Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy, during the opening ceremony. “There’s no other military that we have fought, side-by-side, in every major conflict for more than 100 years.”

The U.S. Department of Defense is in full force at AVALON 23, featuring nearly 300 members with a variety of aircraft and systems, including the F-22 Raptor, KC-46 Pegasus, C-17 Globemaster III, AH-64 Apache, and the M142 HIMARS, among others.

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