Defending aircraft with precision

An Air Force aircraft security operations team on the ramp of a C-17A Globemaster III at RAAF Base Amberley during Exercise Precision Gauntlet. Photo: Corporal Brett Sherriff

Defending aircraft with precision

As the sun set across RAAF Base Amberley, a C-17A Globemaster III landed and a simulated enemy took advantage of the low light by attacking personnel disembarking from the aircraft.

This was Exercise Precision Gauntlet, held at the end of May.

Aircraft security operations teams, mobile air load teams and communications elements from No. 95 and No. 96 Wings worked directly with No. 86 Wing aircraft and aircrew to test and develop ground-based and airborne procedures to strengthen interoperability between Air Mobility Group and Combat Support Group. 

Exercise Precision Gauntlet director Squadron Leader Jared Ellison said the teams worked through a range of scenarios during the week-long exercise, which required interaction and cooperation from all the participating groups.

“The exercise tested the way these groups communicate and work together in contested, degraded and operationally limited environments,” Squadron Leader Ellison said. 

“As a ‘crawl’ activity, the exercise focused on enhancing participants’ understanding of the aircraft’s capabilities and limitations, then stepping through the exercise scenarios multiple times to reach agreement on the most efficient and effective approach.

“This collaborative approach ensured that all the participants who may be involved in these complex missions had an opportunity to contribute their subject matter expert knowledge to developing, or re-developing, the collective actions.”

Corporal Luke Endean takes up prone position at the rear of a C-17A Globemaster III as part of aircraft security operations. Photo: Corporal Brett Sherriff

No. 1 Security Forces Squadron airfield defence guard Flight Sergeant Craig Blakeley said the exercise provided all stakeholders with the opportunity to conduct individual training while also allowing all elements to train together and achieve combined objectives.

“The exercise allowed all stakeholders to safely identify friction points between different operating procedures and implement fixes,” Flight Sergeant Blakeley said.

“It has ensured our operating procedures are synced and our communication has strengthened, which will increase capability.”

As the exercise came to an end, the success of the ‘crawl’ activity has provided a solid foundation for the collective procedures which will be exercised at ‘walk’ and ‘run’ activities in the future.  

https://news.defence.gov.au/capability/defending-aircraft-precision

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