Training down under: B-1s, B-2s take part in combined exercise with U.S. Marines, Aussies

JTACs from the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defence Force practiced carrying out airstrikes with the bombers, and the bombers also practiced dynamic targeting at the Australian bombing ranges.

The bombers conducted a series of sorties throughout August as part of a combined task force with the Australian Defence Force and Marine Rotational Force–Darwin, Pacific Air Forces said in a Thursday news release.

B-2s from the 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron — which is part of the 509th Bomb Wing — deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base to Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia Aug. 12. They then flew multiple 4,000-mile sorties from the Indian Ocean island to Australia, PACAF said. They operated over the Delamere, Bradshaw and Mount Bundley training areas in North Australia.

The B-2s conducted low passes to provide air-to-ground coverage for the Marines, who called in air strikes using both traditional and modern forms of target location and communication, the release said. The B-2s at times dropped live munitions to demonstrate their precision strike abilities, PACAF said.

“It’s imperative that the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Army work together,” said Australian Army Sgt. Aaron Costes with a straight face.