Training has ramped up in Darwin for Air Force’s next generation of air warfare instructors with the completion of the first phase of Exercise Diamond Storm. 

Exercise Diamond Storm 2019 started at RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal on April 29 and ends May 29 – the exercise is the final phase of the Air Warfare Instructor Course, a three-phase intensive six-month course that integrates warfighting functions across a range of specialisations.

The exercise is a large force employment exercise with a focus on the execution of a tactical offensive counter air operation with aircraft from RAAF and the United States operating across the Top End.

“The course exercises complex, war-like scenarios."

Exercise Director Group Captain Matthew McCormack said the Diamond series of exercises was designed to enhance the integration of people and systems to facilitate the introduction of the Australian Defence Force’s fifth-generation capabilities.

“The course exercises complex, war-like scenarios and the students will put their newly developed skills into practice and make decisions that will shape the way Air Force fights in the future,” Group Captain McCormack said.

“We have spent the past week in Darwin and Tindal integrating multiple aircraft and crews into the airspace around the NT and now we are knuckling down into the complex part of the exercise. 

“We will be flying during day and night from Darwin and Tindal into the NT training ranges.” 

Exercise Diamond Storm will integrate almost every combat capability within Air Force. 

The United States Air Force has deployed F-15C Eagles and B-52 Stratofortress Bombers, while the United States Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys and AH-1Z Vipers from the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin will also participate.

Air Force has deployed the F/A-18A Hornet, F/A-18F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, Hawk 127 lead-in fighter, AP-3C Orion, P-8A Poseidon, C-17A Globemaster, KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport, E-7A Wedgetail and C-130J Hercules.

A range of ground-based capabilities and personnel from Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Air Warfare Centre and Combat Support Group are supporting the aircraft.