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Air combat storm ramps up in the Top End

Air combat training has ramped up in Darwin for the Royal Australian 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, near Katherine in the Northern Territory, on 29 April and ends on Wednesday 29 May 2019.

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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.

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 which will shape the way Air Force fights in the future," GPCAPT McCormack said.

Exercise Diamond Storm is a large force employment exercise with a focus on the execution of tactical offensive counter air operation, with aircraft from the Air Force and the US operating across the Top End.

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GPCAPT McCormack added, "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."

The US Air Force has deployed F-15C Eagle and B-52H Stratofortress Bomber while the US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey, and AH-1Z Viper from the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin will also participate.

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

Supporting the aircraft are a range of ground-based surveillance and reconnaissance, Air Warfare Centre and Combat Support Group capabilities and personnel.

"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," GPCAPT McCormack said. 

Air combat storm ramps up in the Top End
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