Training For Air Warfare


The Air Force’s newest class of air warfare instructors faced three weeks of challenging air defence scenarios during Exercise Diamond Shield 24 on Australia’s east coast.

Held from RAAF Bases Williamtown and Amberley from March 11 to 28, the exercise involved 24-hour-a-day defence of Australia training in airspace from Brisbane to Jervis Bay, covering an area of more than 200,000 square kilometres.

During the exercise, the students were challenged with complex mission scenarios while flying F-35 Lightning II aircraft, but they were not without friends. Flying alongside their fast jet brethren was the Air Force’s E-7A airborne early warning and control aircraft plus KC-30A multi-role tankers.

Group Captain Martin Parker, Director of Exercise Diamond Shield 24, said the exercise involved dynamic scenarios to defend Australia from attack.

“Exercise Diamond Shield 24 is defensive in nature and we give the course participants really wicked problems,” Group Captain Parker said.

“They come together to find the answers to these challenging scenarios and then they implement their solutions.

“It is effectively passing best practice from one generation to another whilst also giving them the environment to learn and thrive.”

Exercise Diamond Shield 24 forms part of the six-month-long Air Warfare Instructor Course (AWIC), which combines exercises with academic instruction and briefings on the ground.

The 2024 instalment of AWIC marks 70 years of air warfare training in Australia with the first fight combat instructor course completed in 1954.

“Our warfare instructor course has its origins from 1954 when Wing Commander Dick Cresswell took the lessons out of Korea where Australia lost 41 pilots and 54 out of our 90 aircraft,” Group Captain Parker said.

“He set out on the endeavour to resolve those issues and embed a culture and a course of excellence, which has permeated for 70 years.”

Group Captain Parker thanked local communities around RAAF Bases Williamtown and Amberley for their support during Exercise Diamond Shield 24, especially during important night-time flying phases.

“We have been operating 24 hours a day on this exercise. This is vitally important to national defence. We could not do that and we could not rehearse our battle drills without the support of the local community, which is very much appreciated.”

/Public Release. View in full here.