Exercise Viper Walk showcases bilateral medical interchangeability

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Rob Webb
  • Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

Pacific Air Forces Airmen participated in Exercise VIPER WALK, at Greenbank Training Area near Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, Australia, Mar. 4 – 16.

The exercise focused on expeditionary health as well as improving partnership and interoperability, emphasizing employment of the RAAF’s forward Medical Treatment Facility capabilities by conducting training in the Role 2 forward facilities.

"Joint multilateral and bilateral exercises, training programs, and operations are key to promoting medical interoperability and readiness throughout the region," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Richard Trowbridge, Pacific Air Forces international health specialist. "Through direct integration of U.S. physicians into RAAF’s medical facilities during Viper Walk, we demonstrated bilateral medical interchangeability."

Lt. Col. Trowbridge emphasized the significance of such exercises, stating they not only enhance medical readiness but also bolster morale and strengthen Alliances.

"Through actively fostering and showcasing medical interoperability and interchangeability with our Allies and partners, we significantly bolster our medical capacity, capability and flexibility,” Trowbridge said. “Together we demonstrate that we are committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific."

During the exercise, U.S. Air Force personnel integrated and participated in the exercise with their Australian counterparts to train in diverse environments, preparing them to improve Airmen’s flexibility, confidence and effectiveness.

Wing Commander Matthew Jones, RAAF Exchange Medical Officer to PACAF concurred that Viper Walk was an important exercise for partnerships and readiness.

"It showed the benefit of leveraging existing exercise activities to promote interoperability goals,” he said.

The strengthened partnerships forged during Viper Walk build and improve upon the strong U.S.-Australian relationship. Viper Walk creates avenues for collaboration and training among Allies. Strengthening relationships with Allies and partners remains a priority for PACAF and was one of the most significant outcomes of this integration.

"Viper Walk was enjoyable, challenging and tiring,” said RAAF Wing Commander Duncan McAuley, the Director of Clinical Services within the Role 2 forward facility. “I am very pleased with how RAAF operated and proud of our ability to embed new processes, welcome new staff to include our PACAF counterparts, and accomplish the mission with only a small number of personnel.”

Viper Walk not only contributes to readiness and security in the Indo-Pacific region but also prepares RAAF and PACAF Airmen to respond rapidly and effectively to unexpected crises.

"Exercises like Viper Walk allow our Airmen to stretch and grow in a less pressured environment," Trowbridge explained. "They return to their units energized, motivated and ready to respond effectively to unexpected challenges."

Pacific Air Forces and the Joint Force will continue to integrate alongside Allies and partners in exercises like Viper walk to exemplify the commitment to enhancing readiness and strengthening cooperation among the U.S. and partner nations throughout the Indo-Pacific.