Australia: Diamond Storm exercise conclusion

Exercise Diamond Storm is one of the Royal Australian Air Force’s practical components of training for students of the Air Warfare Instructor’s Course (AWIC) coordinated by the Air Warfare Centre. AWIC19 integrates warfighting functions across a range of specialisations to develop expert air warfare instructors who will represent the next generation of tactical and integrated warfare experts across the Air Combat spectrum. Diamond Storm 2019 is being conducted from RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal, in the skies over the “Top End” of the Northern Territory, from 26 April until 29 May 2019.

Australia Diamond Storm exercise conclusion A No. 36 Squadron C-17A Globemaster takes off from Nackeroo Airfield within the Bradshaw Field Training Area in the Northern Territory. (Picture source: Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)

More than 2000 personnel, 100 aircraft and the next generation of Air Force Air Warfare Instructors are returning to their home bases after being tested to the limit during Exercise Diamond Storm in the Northern Territory.

The exercise is the final stage of an intensive three-phase Air Warfare Instructor Course that assesses candidates in academic and practical activities spanning six months.

Exercise Director, Group Captain Matt McCormack, said a strong cadre of personnel capable of integrating warfighting functions across a range of specialisations will graduate.

“It has been a very busy month at RAAF Darwin and RAAF Tindal as we reach the conclusion of this specialist course that has tested the candidates in a range of high-end warfighting scenarios,” Group Captain McCormack said.

“Diamond Storm has seen course members plan and execute offensive counter-air scenarios using just about every aircraft in our Air Force, as well as some from the United States Air Force and United States Marine Corps, and a range of specialist ground-based enablers and Royal Air Force capabilities.

The Air Warfare Instructor Course began at RAAF Base Pearce in January 2019 with Diamond Seas, a maritime-focused scenario with Navy and Army elements; before moving into Diamond Shield, a defensive counter-air exercise conducted from RAAF Bases Amberley and Williamtown.

“As instructors, the course graduates will be required to operate in a range of environments, cooperating with other Defence units and international forces to accomplish their objectives,” Group Captain McCormack said.

“They represent the next generation of tactical and integrated warfare leaders across the Air Combat spectrum.”

Exercise Diamond Storm formally concludes with the return of all personnel and aircraft to RAAF Base Williamtown on 31 May for a “Dawn Strike” off the coast of Newcastle.

Dawn Strike will see fast jet aircraft and ‘big wing’ aircraft land at Williamtown before graduates receive their patches during an official ceremony.