Dawn strike at Williamtown RAAF Base last test in Exercise Diamond Storm

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.”

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