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US-led exercise offers unique Royal Canadian Air Force unique training opportunities

Royal Canadian Air Force Cpl. Julien Simard, 436 Transport Squadron loadmaster, enters a C-130J during a pre-flight check Feb. 10, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Two aircraft and approximately 70 personnel from the RCAF came to Little Rock AFB to participate in Green Flag Little Rock 17-04. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mercedes Taylor)

Royal Canadian Air Force Cpl. Julien Simard, 436 Transport Squadron loadmaster, enters a C-130J during a pre-flight check Feb. 10, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Two aircraft and approximately 70 personnel from the RCAF came to Little Rock AFB to participate in Green Flag Little Rock 17-04. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mercedes Taylor)

Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft maintenance technicians from the 436 Transport Squadron secure a static line before flight on a C-130J Feb. 10, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The RCAF prepared to airdrop U.S. Army personnel from the 509th Infantry Regiment for a mission during Green Flag Little Rock 17-04. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mercedes Taylor)

Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft maintenance technicians from the 436 Transport Squadron secure a static line before flight on a C-130J Feb. 10, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The RCAF prepared to airdrop U.S. Army personnel from the 509th Infantry Regiment for a mission during Green Flag Little Rock 17-04. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mercedes Taylor)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

The 34th Combat Training Squadron worked closely with the Royal Canadian Air Force during Green Flag Little Rock 17-04 Feb. 9 -19, 2017, while staged at Little Rock Air Force Base and Alexandria, Louisiana.

GFLR, one of Air Mobility Command’s largest rotational exercises, is an opportunity for U.S. forces to collaborate with coalition forces. In this iteration, the RCAF participated with two C-130Js and approximately 70 personnel.

“Developing aircrews and all support personnel to operate more effectively with our allies is one of the things we look forward to when we participate in GFLR,” said Royal Canadian Air Force Maj. Gerald Fraser, 436 Transport Squadron deputy commanding officer.

Similar to U.S. Air Force, RCAF aircrews underwent tactical-training such as re-tasking to execute on-call resupply airdrops; search and rescue operations; and survival, evasion, resistance and escape scenarios.  

“I’m looking forward to seeing our younger personnel return with more experience in different and challenging roles,” Fraser said.

The 436th TS conducts joint training with their allies three-to-four times per year. This experience enables the RCAF to develop opportunities to integrate better with their coalition partners.

“Building relationships and developing trust amongst our allies are things we take away from our training,” Fraser said.

Although GFLR provides essential tactical-level training, the experience of working with international partners is also vital to the theater.

“Our coalition partners are crucial to the overall success of contingency operations around the world," said U.S. Air Force Col. Charles Brown, 19th Airlift Wing commander. "The participation of our international partners in GFLR provides each nation a broader perspective on the capabilities and limitations we each bring to the theater."