Exercise Diamond Storm 2017


2017-07-19 Exercise Diamond Storm, run by the RAAF Air Warfare Centre, is one of the practical components of the Air Warfare Instructors Course, which graduates students who are experts in Australian Defence Force capabilities and integration across the services, and also have technical mastery of their own roles, capabilities and systems.

According to the Community Fact Sheet released by the RAAF prior to the June exercise:

Exercise Diamond Storm will run between 5th June 2017 and 27th June 2017, from RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal continuing the training regime of the Air Warfare Instructors Course (AWIC).

This exercise involves Pilots, Intelligence Officers and Air Combat Officers across a range of Air Force platforms, including F/A-18A Classic Hornets, F/A-18F Super Hornets, E-7A Wedgetail, and C-130J Hercules aircraft.

Conducted by the Air Warfare Centre, the aim of the AWIC is to graduate expert leaders and instructors capable of tactics development, validation and instruction.

The last in a series of training exercises, Diamond Storm will be conducted from RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal and will operate over the Northern Territory training areas.

The Diamond Series of exercises is designed to integrate people and systems; an objective which is now achievable with the introduction of fifth generation capabilities into the RAAF.

As ADF platforms interact, electronically, so too must the human elements interact more closely to get the greatest benefit from this technology.

The AWIC, developed by the Air Warfare Centre, has done that and each component of the course has prepared 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.

The course exercises complex war-like scenarios and the students put their newly developed skills into practice and make decisions which will shape the way Air Force fights in the future; in an integrated war-space using fifth generation platforms.

More than 1000 personnel and around 40 aircraft will participate.

Exercise Diamond Storm details

A four week exercise

From 5 June to 27 June 2017

Flying activity: 9am  – 11pm, Monday – Friday

The exercise will use airspace over Bradshaw Training Area and Delamere Air Weapons Range to practice large formation offensive and counter air and offensive air support operations.

The exercise will involve day and night flying from Darwin and Tindal, as well as a number of land elements in each location.

Part of the exercise was highlighted in this June 27, 2017 Port Stephens Examiner piece as follows:

Up to 35 fighter planes will ‘strike’ on Williamtown RAAF Base at dawn on Friday but residents are being told not to worry – it is just a training exercise.

The dawn strike is the final exercise in the RAAF’s inaugural air warfare instructor course.

“Exercise Dawn Strike is the culmination of the air warfare instructor course and represents the final mission prior to graduation,” Air Commodore Joe Iervasi AM, commander of the Air Warfare Centre, said.

“These RAAF air warfare instructors will put their newly developed skills into practice on this final mission.”

The new air warfare combat instructors will return to Williamtown on Friday after taking part in an intensive five-month course called Exercise Diamond Storm.

Up to 30 F/A-18A Hornets and two Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter aircraft will return to base, flying in formations of up to four fighter jets.

Two C-130J transport aircraft and an E-7A Wedgetail will join them.​

As part of Friday’s final exercise, up to 10 aircraft will depart to ‘defend’ the base at 6am, flying over water 50 kilometres off the mid-north coast.

It is expected that they will return between 7.15am and 7.30am.

The air warfare instructor course is one of the most challenging courses in the Air Force.

Exercise Diamond Storm involved ground and air-based activities from the Amberley, Williamtown and Tindal, near Katherine in the Northern Territory, RAAF bases.
It was conducted throughout June.

“The graduates will form a nucleus for tactics development which will shape the way the Air Force conducts air power in the future,” AIRCDRE Iervasi said.

“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 war fighting capability using the fifth generation platforms.”