Home' Air Force News : March 17th 2011 Contents 2
March 17, 2011
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Chief of Staff
Graham McBean: (02) 6265 1161
pair of F/A-18s
and a pair of
F-16s take to
the skies over
Photo: LAC Mark
FLTLT Skye Smith
IN A FIRST for Australia and the
US, the Iowa Air National Guard
has played the enemy in the latest
Fighter Combat Instructor (FCI)
course at RAAF Base Williamtown.
The Iowa Air National Guard
played 'Red Air' in the first
phase of the 31 FCI course from
February 21 to March 4.
More than 120 US airmen par-
ticipated in the two-week coalition
exercise -- which the Guard dubbed
'Sentry Down Under' -- in support
of the five-month fighter course.
The Air National Guard's con-
tingent included the 132nd Fighter
Wing from Des Moines and 185th
Air Refuelling Wing from Sioux
They flew F-16 fighter jets and
a KC-135 air refuelling tanker.
"The US and Australian mili-
tary have a long history of training
together, but this is the first time
the Iowa National Guard has had
the opportunity to participate in
this coalition exercise," OC 81WG
GPCAPT Joe Iervasi said.
The postgraduate course is con-
ducted every two years.
It provides experienced F/A-18
pilots with extensive training in all
air combat-related roles.
"FCIs form an elite group of the
most advanced and experienced
fighter pilots," GPCAPT Iervasi
"Their role is to provide leader-
ship in the development of fighter
tactics and determine how those
tactics can be used to enhance the
ADF's joint war-fighting capability.
"The individual is considered
an expert on all aircraft systems,
weapons and tactics."
The intensive course is under-
taken in eight phases over a five-
month period. They include an
instructional technique phase, air-
to-air phase, an interagency visit,
advanced weapons employment,
air-to-surface phase, academics
and Exercises Aces South and
The course is conducted by
2 Operational Conversion Unit,
which also conducts initial F/A-18
operational conversion courses and
subsequent re-currency training
A number of RAAF fighter
pilots on exchange have also
trained at the US Air Weapons
School at Nellis Air Base in Nevada.
Also, the RAAF regularly trains
with the US during Exercise Red
Flag, which is conducted at the
Nellis and Eielson Air Force Bases,
"Exercising with the US pro-
vides essential training in realistic
air combat scenarios for the Air
Force's Fighter Combat Instructor
Course," GPCAPT Iervasi said.
"This training cannot be repli-
"The training and exposure
gained during this phase of the FCI
course is invaluable.
"It would not be possible with-
out the support of the Air National
BIRDS OF A FEATHER:
COL Randy Greenwood and
GPCAPT Joe Iervasi in front
of their aircraft.
Photo: LACW Katharine Pearson
A REVISED five-tier system of medi-
cal classifications (MEC) will give De-
fence personnel a clear understanding
of where they stand in terms of medical
The revised system begins its five-
year roll out from July 1, with per-
sonnel migrated to the system as they
receive treatment or attend periodical
New, more detailed classifications
for pregnancy and extended rehabili-
tation are important features of the
revision; some of these have already
been introduced into the MEC system
and have been successfully used since
August last year.
The pregnancy classification
is designed to remove the ambigu-
ity of the old medical classifications.
Although personnel are still not able to
deploy while pregnant, the new clas-
sification effectively communicates
that pregnancy is no longer mistakenly
classified as an injury or illness.
A significant difference of the
revised system is that there is more
flexibility, where appropriate, for
employment and deployment in the
Head of People Capability
MAJGEN Craig Orme said the revised
MECs would provide Defence with
a simpler, more flexible system that
accurately reflects a Defence mem-
ber's state of health.
He said the revised system would
also better communicate a member's
health status to commanders and
supervisors without divulging confi-
"The old medical employment cat-
egories were not providing the flex-
ibility to help people know what they
could do and what they couldn't do,"
MAJGEN Orme said.
"We have built a revised system
with more categories to better reflect
a member's state of health, their state
of employability and their state of
"By providing a more flexible
range of classifications a person may
be able to deploy into operational the-
atres in specific roles.
"So it is broadening our ability to
use our workforce in a more efficient
More flexibility under revised MEC system
MEC 1: Fully deployable.
MEC 2: Deployable with
limitations on employment and
deployment depending on the
level of available health support
and the physical requirements
of different employment
environments and locations.
MEC 3: Is a rehabilitation
classification that means there
is some injury or illness, or
the member is pregnant, and
the member is undergoing
rehabilitation and cannot be
deployed. The intent is that
wherever possible the member
will eventually get better
and go back to a deployable
MEC 4: A transition classification
where a member won't recover
to the medical standard required
for their present trade but may be
transitioned to a new trade or be
offered work in their current trade
for a specified period of time.
MEC 5: A classification where
a member is in the process of
separating because of their
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