Australia's voice loud and clear in the global F-35 test team
By AFHQ, 06 March 2013 15:04:11

Air Force students on the Fighter Combat Instructors (FCI) course are being put to the test by Air Combat Group.

Run by 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU) at RAAF Base Williamtown, the course began in January and is due to finish on June 28.

The commander of Air Combat Group, Air Commodore Tony Grady, said the FCI course was one of the most challenging courses of a student’s flying career.

“The five-month course aims to train the most experienced fighter aircrew in the highest level of air combat tactics and large force employment,” he said. “This year’s course will, for the first time, see the integration of new ADF capabilities including the F/A-18F Super Hornet and E-7A Wedgetail, adding another dimension to an already complex and demanding course. The students will be constantly challenged, however they all know that on completion they will form part of an elite group who have proven themselves beyond doubt.”

Conducted every two years, it aims to graduate expert leaders and instructors capable of tactics development, validation and instruction.

This year, F/A-18F Super Hornet pilots and weapon systems officers are taking part for the first time, with adversary support provided by fighter squadrons from 81 and 82 Wings and F-15s and F-16s from the US Air Force. The course is also supported by a No 33 Squadron KC-30Atanker.

On graduation, students will put their newly developed skills into practice and make decisions that will shape the way Air Force fights in the future.

The majority of the FCI course will be conducted from RAAF Base Williamtown, with the final stage to be held out of RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal using the Delamere and Bradshaw air weapons ranges.