Preparation for the fifth-generation Joint Strike Fighter under Plan Jericho is underway, with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) commencing training exercises at RAAF Base Williamtown.
Exercise Diamond Shield, which kicked off Monday, 20 March, highlights the benefits of the RAAF’s Air Warfare Centre training of air warfare instructors.
The Air Warfare Centre was created under Plan Jericho, the largest technological upgrade in the RAAF's history, to prepare the RAAF for the fifth-generation Joint Strike Fighter aircraft that are coming into service now.
The Diamond Shield exercise is one of the practical components of the air warfare instructor's course taking place at the new centre.
Defence said the graduates of the course are experts in Australian Defence Force (ADF) capabilities and integration across the services, and have technical mastery of their own roles, platforms and systems.
Commandor of the Air Warfare Centre Air Commodore Joe Iervasi praised the efforts of the ADF and their success at integrating platforms under Plan Jericho.
"The public demonstration at the Avalon International Airshow of the F-35A Lightning II, EA-18G Growler and PC-21 aircraft has shown that integration of systems across the Australian Defence Force is already taking place," AIRCDRE Iervasi said.
"For the first time we are bringing together different Defence units in the warfare space to integrate their roles in a process of continuous improvement to match the fifth-generation platforms coming into service."
AIRCDRE Iervasi is confident in the future of Australia's air warfare capabilities, commending the work of the Air Warfare Centre and the course it developed.
"As our platforms interact electronically, so too must the human elements to get the greatest benefit from this technology," he said.
"The air warfare instructors’ course developed by the Air Warfare Centre has done that, and over the next few months each component of the course will prepare our instructors to be effective in the integrated air warfare space.
"Graduates will provide leadership in the development of future tactics and help determine how those tactics can be used to enhance the ADF's joint warfighting capability using fifth-generation platforms."
Exercise Diamond Shield is conducted from RAAF Base Williamtown until 31 March, with future components of the Diamond Series Air Warfare Instructors course being conducted until June.