defence connect logo



ADF launches day and night missions during Exercise Diamond Shield 24

An F-35A Lightning II aircraft (A35-045) performs an interception during Exercise Diamond Shield 24. Photo: ACW Laura Flower

The Australian Defence Force has launched day and night air defence missions as part of live training during Exercise Diamond Shield 24.

The Australian Defence Force has launched day and night air defence missions as part of live training during Exercise Diamond Shield 24.

Air warfare instructors from the Royal Australian Air Force faced three weeks of air defence scenarios across more than 200,000 square kilometres of airspace between Brisbane in Queensland and Jervis Bay on the South Coast of NSW.

The exercise involved 24-hour-a-day air defence from RAAF bases Williamtown and Amberley from 11 to 28 March.


Students were challenged with complex mission scenarios while flying F-35 Lightning II aircraft, with the assistance of KC-30A multi-role tankers and E-7A airborne early warning and control aircraft.

Group Captain Martin Parker, director of Exercise Diamond Shield 24, said the exercise involved dynamic scenarios to defend Australia from attack.

“Exercise Diamond Shield 24 is defensive in nature and we give the course participants really wicked problems,” GPCAPT Parker said.

“They come together to find the answers to these challenging scenarios and then they implement their solutions.

“It is effectively passing best practice from one generation to another whilst also giving them the environment to learn and thrive.”

Exercise Diamond Shield 24 forms part of the six-month-long Air Warfare Instructor Course (AWIC), which combines exercises with academic instruction and briefings on the ground.

The 2024 instalment of AWIC marks 70 years of air warfare training in Australia with the first fight combat instructor course completed in 1954.

“Our warfare instructor course has its origins from 1954 when Wing Commander Dick Cresswell took the lessons out of Korea where Australia lost 41 pilots and 54 out of our 90 aircraft,” GPCAPT Parker said.

“He set out on the endeavour to resolve those issues and embed a culture and a course of excellence, which has permeated for 70 years.”

GPCAPT Parker also thanked local communities around RAAF bases Williamtown and Amberley for their support during Exercise Diamond Shield 24, especially during important night-time flying phases.

“We have been operating 24 hours a day on this exercise. This is vitally important to national defence. We could not do that and we could not rehearse our battle drills without the support of the local community, which is very much appreciated.”

Exercise Diamond Shield 24 was designed to provide an essential live training environment that developed the knowledge, skills, and experience of the Royal Australian Air Force air warfare Instructors who participated, he said.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member for free today!