Thursday, February 21, 2013

RAAF's Top Guns Train with USAF's Best

The United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 jets returned to RAAF Base Williamtown on Sunday the 17th of February to participate in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Fighter Combat Instructors course (FCI).

The Commander of Air Combat Group, Air Commodore (AIRCDRE) Tony Grady, explained that the five-month FCI course takes RAAF’s best fast jet pilots, Air Combat Officers and Weapon Systems Officers and develops their skills in air combat tactics.

“To be a Fighter Combat Instructor, you need to have attained the highest level of leadership as a fighter pilot to even qualify for this course, so the training is very highly regarded,” AIRCDRE Grady said.

The USAF F-16 Viper Squadron, are some of the best pilots in the world and assisted with the last FCI Course in 2011. Their participation in this course offers the opportunity for our aircrew to train with the world’s best.

“The culmination of the course will be conducted from RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal for Exercise Aces North,” AIRCDRE Grady said.

RAAF F/A-18A/B Hornets and F/A-18F Super Hornets will also be supported by the E-7A Wedgetail and the KC-30 Multi-Role Tanker Transport.

USAF F-16 visits will follow RAAF Base Williamtown procedures to reduce noise impacts for the Port Stephens community, and the majority of fast jet flying will be conducted in over water areas east of RAAF Base Williamtown.

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