by Master Sgt. Cohen A. Young, Defense Media Activity 8/24/2011 - COLOMBO AIRPORT, Sri Lanka -- -- More than 300 military members from the U.S. Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Sri Lankan Air Force and Royal Malaysian Air Force gathered together for the start of Pacific Airlift Rally 2011 Aug. 22 in Sri Lanka. PAR is a Pacific Air Force sponsored, biennial multilateral tactical military airlift symposium, designed to enhance military airlift interoperability and cooperation between nations of the Pacific Region. The PAR helps participants grow familiar, should they have to work with one another during humanitarian missions. "An exercise like this is good because it allows everyone to fly with each other and see how they do things," said RAAF Flt. Lt. Christian Yates-Round. "It enables us to do well together in case of a real world emergency or disaster." "This gives the Sri Lankan Air Force crews an opportunity to work with and understand the procedures and philosophies adapted by the other nations that may come to our aid in a time of need," said Sri Lankan Air Force Commander Sarike Aranayake. "It also prepares us to help out in a situation anywhere in the world." The crews will exchange techniques in several types of humanitarian mission scenarios that will involve not only air to land techniques, but personnel drops as well. "This is my first time working with the Sri Lankans, and I'm really looking forward to it so we can see how we both do things and then see what we can learn from each other," added Yates-Round. This exercise re-energizes a training relationship that was previously established. "No one in the U.S. Air Force has had the opportunity to come train in Sri Lanka in 20 years," said Lt. Col. Tim Rapp, the commander of the 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan. PAR will run from Aug. 22-26 and will have aircrews from each nation flying daily to produce a cohesive team by week's end. "Day one won't be as effective as day five as we get familiar with one another and what each other needs, but by week's end, we'll be flying as one in the same air space," Colonel Rapp said.