18th Aggressor pilots take to the Australian air for Exercise Diamond Shield Published March 20, 2017 By Tech. Sgt. Steven R. Doty 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia -- U.S. Air Force Airmen from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, touched down at Royal Australian Air Force Base Williamtown, in New South Wales, Australia, for Exercise Diamond Shield 2017. With a dedicated support team topping nearly 150 personnel, over 20 pilots assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron will work with Royal Australian Air Force Air Warfare Centre instructors to train and prepare RAAF fighter combat instructors, airspace battle managers, fighter intelligence instructors and fighter combat controllers. Exercise DS17, the second of four Diamond Series exercises conducted by the RAAF Air Warfare Centre, is an Australian Defence Force training activity where high-readiness forces deploy quickly to remote locations in Australia in response to a simulated security threat. The exercise will see members of the ADF Navy, Army and Air Force rapidly deploy to counter a fictitious force posing a threat to Australia's national security in the Kimberley region in North Western Australia. As a benchmark for aerial combat training through its annual series of Red Flag-Alaska exercises, integration of Eielson’s 18th Aggressor pilot’s enhances interoperability and ensures the RAAF can operate in a combined environment to respond to any contingency in the region and provide an agile, decisive and effective deterrent to any future challenges. Exercise DS17 is set to run from March 13 to March 31 and will incorporate RAAF C-17A III Globemaster’s, C-130J Hercules’, AP-3C Orion, and Eielson’s signature Aggressor F-16 Fighting Falcon’s.