RAAF wraps up training in the Top End

MORE than 2000 army personnel, 100 aircraft and the next generation of Air Warfare Instructors are returning to their home bases following a five week training exercise in the Northern Territory.

Exercise Diamond Storm is the final stage of an intensive three-phase Air Warfare Instructor Course that assesses candidates in academic and practical activities over six months.

The 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.


Exercise Director, Group Captain Matt McCormack, said a strong cadre of personnel capable of integrating war fighting 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.

Red Force RAAF No. 76 Squadron Hawk 127s prepare to take off for a sortie during Exercise Diamond Storm | Source: © CPL Colin Dadd / Department of Defence

“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.

“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.

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

RAAF No. 75 Squadron F/A-18A Hornet taxis for a sortie during Exercise Diamond Storm | Source: © CPL Colin Dadd / Department of Defence

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.