A major facilities upgrade has enabled Exercise Diamond Storm 19 to be the first exercise to benefit from the Delamere Air Weapons Range (DELAWR) enhanced capability.
DELAWR is Air Force operated and located in a remote part of the Northern Territory about 120 kilometres from the nearest town of Katherine. The range covers over half a million acres and is undoubtedly one of Australia’s premier weapons ranges for practice gunnery and both inert and high explosive bombing.
Military aircraft flying over DELAWR have the freedom to practice tactics that they could not do elsewhere. The airspace in the Northern Territory is vast and aircraft can get clearance up to 60,000 feet making it the perfect place to test the warfighting skills of the Air Warfare Instructor Candidates.
New living and working facilities were established in March this year. These are positioned further outside the blast impact zone which will allow the target areas to expand and increase the training capability of the range.
The enhanced accommodation, recreation and messing facilities have greatly benefited the morale of the team said DELAWR Officer in Charge Range Operations, Wing Commander (WGCDR) Lynette Horne.
“The permanent staff that live at DELAWR now have their own ensuite and landline phones in their living accommodation allowing them to remain in contact with their families,” said WGCDR Horne.
“The buildings have been designed to make the harshness of the outback more comfortable. There are covered walkways, fans in most areas, a brand-new gym and full sized commercial kitchen.
“The new facilities have more work stations and work areas meaning that we can more easily accommodate exercise personnel. We now have a dedicated and permanent facility for Raytheon, an operations center and briefing room, a dedicated medical room with trauma bed and purpose built explosive ordnance storage areas.
“The new facilities have enhanced our ability to provide a high-quality support base for operations in the field. All the permanent staff here look forward to the future growth of the range,” she said.
DELAWR is being established as a key Electronic Warfare training range in addition to its key role as a weapons range. Over the next few years DELAWR will continue to see an increase in equipment and infrastructure.