The team role-playing as adversary forces during Exercise Diamond Storm put up a fight that was as real as possible, providing Air Force personnel with high level training.
Defence contractors supported the adversary forces during all exercise missions, creating the challenging threat environment required to push the Air Warfare Instructor Course candidates to their limit.
The contracted assets included the Raytheon Electronic Warfare Training Systems (EWTS) Learjet 35A, Air Affairs Australia Alpha Jets and the Raytheon Mobile Threat Training Emitter System (MTTES).
The Raytheon EWTS Learjet 35A enables personnel to train in a contested electromagnetic environment. EWTS inclusion in the adversary forces order of battle introduced radar jamming, communications denial and deception through accurate threat simulation.
The Alpha Jets from Air Affairs Australia added to the complex environment by simulating an agile attack aircraft. The ability of the Alpha Jets to affect the fight needed to be negated by the course candidates in order for them to meet their mission objectives.
F/A-18A/B Hornet Pilot, Flying Officer (FLGOFF) Georgi said that the Alpha Jets and Learjet enhance the contested air picture and provide a real asset in the air to fight against.
“When we experience jamming from the Learjet it makes it more difficult for us to be able to target that aircraft,” said FLGOFF Georgi.
“We have to use our radar in a more deliberate manner to achieve an affect. It increases the complexity of the task and is a fantastic simulation of what would happen in the real world,” he said.
It’s not just the adversary forces in the air that personnel have to train against but also a combination of layered air defence assets on the ground. The Raytheon MTTES is a new training capability that provides an operationally representative threat. The MTTES effects are coordinated with other air and ground elements, to create a layered defence posture that requires advanced integrated planning and execution to overcome.
The threat emitter is mobile and was brought from Oakey for Diamond Storm. It can operate from very remote locations and this means that scenario planners can move the threats around, creating tactical uncertainty.
“The threat emitters give us another layer of targeting complexity when we are focused on delivering weapons on our adversary’s doorstep. We must defend against surface-to-air threat systems that can pop-up without notice anywhere in the area of operations,” said FLGOFF Georgi.
“It’s been great to see our aircrafts threat warning indicators react in real time to surface-to-air threats. It really makes a difference when you see an indicator light up as opposed to having to pretend.
“If we didn’t have the extra assets such as Learjets, Alpha Jets and threat emitters out there we would have less complexity, making our jobs easier. We want to train hard so we can fight easy. They bring a great capability to the fight and help already good fighter pilots become even better,” he said.
Air Force personnel are highly trained professionals, required to operate in a range of environments, cooperating with other Defence units and international forces, to accomplish their objectives. Working in exercises such as Diamond Storm tests Air Force personnel and provides them with training to be highly skilled at warfighting.