JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska –
U.S. and Royal Australian Air Force service members came together to discuss challenges and posture for the future during this year’s iteration of the Air Senior National Representatives forum at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, May 15-17.
The ASNR forum is a bilateral U.S. Air Force - RAAF engagement that lays the foundation for the interoperability of national air power capabilities today and into the future. ASNR meetings happen annually and alternate between locations in the U.S. and Australia, and is an open and frank engagement between the two allied forces.
“I think the biggest takeaway for me was the more we do, the more we discover we need to do,” said U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin. “We’ve developed and strengthened these relationships between the RAAF and USAF. We’ve conquered a lot of challenges, and now we’re getting after even more difficult ones, so that’s both rewarding and challenging.”
ANSR was established in 2000 with a mission to identify, promote, and, where practical, exploit areas of mutual interest in the development of interoperable and integrated airpower. It has helped with the integration potential of operational forces, identifying roadblocks that impede integration, and embracing opportunities that improve the realization of interoperable programs. Efforts through the ASNR represent a long-term and enduring commitment to the future.
“We’re building on years of success for this forum, and we’ve got great and very deep relationships with the U.S. Air Force, and we’re continuing to work very closely across both our teams, across many consequential issues,” said RAAF Air Vice-Deputy Chief of the Air Force Marshall Glen Braz. “Those challenges are significant, but we’re making progress, and we are committed to working together and looking forward to a secure and safe Indo-Pacific.”
During the forum, leaders described Alaska as providing a fantastic opportunity for all members of the teams to experience an appreciation for the differences in climate, background, surroundings and environment which may play a vital role in a potential future conflict.
“This concept of integration by design really takes us forward together, and it’s an opportunity to look at everything we do across our organizations and make sure we build that in from the start,” Braz said. “We build it into the people who are working from the grass roots on capabilities for our future, and it lets us grow that through our organizations so we can work together, focus, and bring a team effort to this.”
The ASNR keeps both air forces informed of opportunities, risks, challenges, and barriers to efforts to integrate before the point of crisis and build effective airpower.
“What I see is a continued expansion to more and more advanced systems and massively improved data sharing that lets us integrate by design, allows us to collaborate very deeply on complex challenges, and lets us move with the speed of trust because we have seen a really long history of working together and operating together across the globe,” Braz said. “We bring that together here in the ASNR, and it lets us move forward together with people we know well, people we trust, and with a shared vision and shared values.”