Fighter Combat Instructor
The RAAF held the Aces North exercise last November as the culminating element of its comprehensive Fighter Combat Instructor (FCI) course (see AA October 08). As many as 2000 Australian and US military and civilian support personnel were involved in the planning for and in running the exercise, which saw six new FCIs graduate the six month long course.
Held at RAAF Base Tindal near Katherine in the Northern Territory, Aces North is a four week long exercise and saw senior staff from 81WG and 2OCU put the FCI students in positions where they utilise all of the planning, management and leadership skills they have learnt throughout the course. “Not only do we take them to their highest tactical proficiency level as far as their flying abilities go, and we expose them to operations they will not be exposed to in the course of day-to-day training,” Officer Commanding (OC) 81WG, GPCAPT Gavin Turnbull told Australian Aviation. “The thing that makes an FCI such a high value asset, is the thinking, management and leadership skills we put into him over the six months of the course to handle multiple types of aircraft and ground forces, to remain aware of what is happening in that fluid environment, and to make sound tactical decisions to achieve the aim, whether that be supporting a force on the ground, or destroying an air threat, along with the preservation of our own forces.”
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