Kadena Commandos Down Under

Combat controllers from Kadena AB, Japan, along with MC-130J special-mission aircraft, conducted joint tactical training with their Australian counterparts at RAAF Richmond, northwest of Syndey. Two 17th Special Operations Squadron MC-130Js conducted tactical landings at nearby Warren Airfield in addition to airdropping special operators during the joint exercises April 15-17, according to the Royal Australian Air Force. A total of 35 combat controllers from the 320th Special Tactics Squadron and RAAF 4 Squadron parachuted onto a local farm and conducted both day and night tactical training in rural New South Wales, said RAAF officials. Kadena’s 17th Special Operations Squadron received its first MC-130J last December as part of an Air Force Special Operations Command-wide recapitalization. The Air Force has ramped up cooperation with the Australians after the United States and Australia signed an intensified defense cooperation agreement last year. This has included deploying aircraft for several Australian exercises and possibly establishing regular bomber rotations to nothern Australia.