Royal Australian Air Force participates in WSEP 22.08

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tiffany Del Oso
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Ever felt like someone was watching you? It’s not a kangaroo ready to box, it’s Australian Command and Control (C2) with the Early Warning and Control E-7A Wedgetail.

Royal Australian Air Force Flight Lt. “Beaker” Skene is one of three pilots and nine aircrew who came all the way from “down-under” to keep an eye on our live-fire Weapons System Evaluation Program.

Skene joined the RAAF in January 2013 and spent three years at the Australian Defence Force Academy before attending an 18 month pilot course. Then finally, he hopped into his first assigned airframe: the E-7.

“My preference was the Wedgetail and that’s what I got, so I was stoked,” claimed Skene. “It’s been absolutely fantastic and very busy.”

Much like the U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry, the Wedgetail’s mission is to conduct C2 from the air, which is pretty helpful when Tyndall’s battlespace is more than 15,000 square miles of airspace over the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

“The great thing about our jet, is that it has a lot more integration between the front end and the back end,” said Skene. “With the new mission system, it’s much easier for us to communicate and get an understanding of who’s controlling what at any specific time.”

Skene has already logged well over 1,500 flight hours in the last four years, and travelled to several different countries on a regular basis with his crew.

“I love that we’re able to come overseas and participate in stuff like this,” said Skene. “I’ve got friends from all over the world because of various trips, exercises and deployments. Machines might talk to machines, but the people are the capability.”