The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has completed the large force employment exercise Diamond Storm 2019 in the Northern Territory.

Exercise Diamond Storm is the final stage of the three-phase Australian Air Warfare Instructor Course (AWIC) designed to test candidates in high-end combat scenarios. AWIC is set to formally conclude marked by a ‘Dawn Strike’ off the coast of Newcastle, Australia, on 31 May.

More than 2,000 personnel, 100 aircraft and the next-generation of airforce Air Warfare Instructors participated in the exercise.

Candidates who attended AWIC were assessed in academic and practical activities for a period of six months.

Graduates from the course will have the ability to integrate combat functions across a range of specialisations, said Exercise Director group captain Matt McCormack.

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

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“We come to the Northern Territory as it has extensive airspace to conduct military training, as well as two substantial air weapons ranges.

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

“We come to the Northern Territory as it has extensive airspace to conduct military training.”

The first phase of the course began in January with Diamond Seas. The exercise involved a maritime-focused scenario with navy and army elements.

Personnel then took part in Diamond Shield defensive counter air exercise from RAAF bases Amberley and Williamtown.

AWIC saw participation from RAAF personnel and platforms, including F/A-18A/B Hornets, EA-18G Growlers, C-130J Hercules, P-8A Poseidon and E-7A Wedgetail.

Other assets that participated in the course include airforce intelligence and air battle managers, Hawk 127, C-17A Globemaster, and KC-30A multi-role tanker transport aircraft.