No. 292 Squadron – Preparing the hunter

Members of No. 58 Airborne Electronic Analysts Course at their graduation

With the introduction of the P-8A Poseidon training system in 2018, No. 292 Squadron (292SQN) has risen to the challenge and taken the necessary steps towards maintaining their status as one of the premier training units in Air Force.

Since the delivery of the first P-8A training course mid-last year, students have continued to be provided with the opportunity to learn their craft on fifth-generation training devices encompassing operational flight trainers, weapons tactics trainers, virtual maintenance trainers and maintenance hardware devices.

In cooperation with the United States Navy (USN) and Boeing Global Services staff, 292SQN personnel have developed, validated, and adapted both the USN delivered courseware and training devices to maintain the exceptionally high standards demanded by Air Force.

Reflecting on the squadron’s successes and achievements over the introductory year of training, the focused effort of 292SQN personnel resulted in the completion of 33 courses in 2018.

292SQN graduated 81 maintenance personnel, 13 Operations Officers (OPSOs) and 61 aircrew; including the students of No. 58 Airborne Electronics Analyst (AEA) course.

Of note, the No. 58 AEA Course graduation represented the completion of the first six months Operational Control training and transition training at the new P-8 training facility, marking a significant milestone in 292SQNs long and proud history. During the graduation ceremony held at RAAF Base Edinburgh, Commander Surveillance and Response Group, Air Commodore Craig Heap commended the students on their efforts throughout the course.

“You are now part of a proud tradition of aircrew delivering cutting edge, decisive air power effects for our nation that dates all the way back to World War 1”, he said.

As part of the course curriculum, AEA trainees studied radar systems, electro-optics, electronic warfare, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, ordnance and flight safety procedures to operate the sensor system and work as part of the crew onboard the P-8A Poseidon.

Sergeant (SGT) Madeline Reilly, an AEA graduate, is following in her father’s footsteps. Warrant Officer (WOFF) Brenden Reilly worked as both an AEA and Flight Engineer on the AP-3C Orion since 1991 and is proud of his daughter’s achievement:

“Madeline has put in the hard work to become an AEA and I look forward to watching her career on the P-8A”, WOFF Reilly said.

SGT Reilly was awarded the “Most Improved” trophy for her performance on course and was looking to the future in her chosen career path as an AEA.

"I'm really looking forward to the excitement and challenges of working as part of a crew", she said.

All graduates were posted to No. 11 Squadron crews and began operational flying from January this year.

2019 continues to present new opportunities and challenges for 292SQN as the training system undertakes its first major update in parallel with ongoing aircrew and maintenance training. This update is also expected to enable P-8A entry into the distributive training realm and support it's role expansion through air-to-air refuelling.