RAAF Base East Sale opened as a training base on 22 April 1943. Initially, the base was home to No1 Operational Training Unit (1 OTU) equipped with Bristol Beaufort light bomber aircraft. Following World War II, the RAAF Central Flying School was relocated from RAAF Base Point Cook to East Sale in 1947.
RAAF Base East Sale is located 220km South East of Melbourne, in Victoria's Gippsland region, and supports a capacity of approximately 700 personnel.
The base plays a major role in training the next generation of Air Force personnel under the banner of Air Training Wing. This includes new officers at the Officer’s Training School, as well as Air Combat Officers and Joint Battle Air Controllers at No.1 Flying Training School and School of Air Traffic Control respectively. The base is also home to No 32 Squadron who fly the King Air multi-role aircraft and No 30 Squadron – airbase operations. The famous Roulettes aerobatic display team from Central Flying School is also located in East Sale. The base is located 6km from Sale’s CBD and results in significant benefits to the local economy and community.
When flying, Air Force pilots and crews operate the aircraft in a way that minimises aircraft noise. Air Force has an honest and open approach about the noise experienced by residents living near our bases and training areas. Detailed information about aircraft noise, including Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) maps, is available at the Defence Aircraft Noise website or contact 1300 DEFENCE (1300 333 362).
To view major training exercises and flying activities see www.airforce.gov.au/flyingoperations
Royal Australian Air Force's Base East Sale is the location of several specialist training schools. It is probably best known as home to the Roulettes aerobatic display team from Central Flying School.
The following Units operate from RAAF Base East Sale
The PC9/A is a two seat single engine turboprop aircraft and is the major pilot training aircraft for the ADF. TASPO manages the contracts for the support and maintenance of this fleet.
The PC-9/A is flown by the Central Flying School at RAAF Base East Sale, Victoria, where the ADFs fixed wing flying instructors are trained. The PC-9/A is also flown at Number 2 Flying Training School at RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia where the future pilots of the ADF are trained.
The PC-9/A is best known to the public as the aircraft flown by the RAAF Roulettes in aerobatic displays at major events throughout Australia.
The first two PC-9/A aircraft A23-001 and A23-002 were accepted in Sale on the 24th November 1988. Currently the PC-9/A fleet comprises of 62 aircraft.
RAAF Base East Sale operates aircraft that are attached to No 32 Squadron & CFS.
No 32 Squadron at RAAF Base East Sale, Victoria, operates the King Air 350 as No.1 Flying Training School's training aircraft, with the student sitting in the co-pilot’s seat or at specially fitted consoles in the rear of the aircraft. No 32 Squadron King Air 350 aircraft also perform Air Logistics Support tasks.
The B300 is a Raytheon Aircraft Company Beechcraft Super King Air 350 (Model B300). TASPO manages the contract which provides for the delivery and sustainment of two B300 fleets; Navigation Training Aircraft (NTA) Fleet of eight B300 aircraft and an Interim Light Transport (ILT) Fleet of eight B300 aircraft. The roles and configuration between the two fleets are significantly different.
Navigator Training Aircraft
No 32 Squadron operates the eight NTA B300 aircraft that provide direct support to No.1 Flying Training School. TASPO manages the contract, which delivers the NTA capability. The prime role of this platform is to provide training to Air Combat Officers and Navy Observers.
Interim Light Transport
No 38 Squadron operates the eight ILT B300 aircraft, in what has become known as the Interim Light Transport capability. This organisation is based at Townsville, Queensland. TASPO manages the contract, which delivers the ILT B300 capability, with a secondary role including airborne surveillance support to the ADF.
The secondary role includes an airborne surveillance support capability to the ADF.
B300 Proline 2 Simulator
Training Aircraft Systems Program Office (TASPO) manage a contract to provide Proline Simulator 2 hours to No 32 SQN and SAW and Full Flight Simulator (Level D) servicing. The B300 Proline 2 Simulator commenced service in February 2014.
Due to RAAF Base East Sale’s role for training aircrew, the airspace surrounding the base has been sectioned into several training areas. For information regarding the location and aircraft activity within these training areas please follow this link: Flying areas
While continuing specialised training, RAAF East Sale has recently benefited from vital infrastructure upgrades. The base received a new Physical Fitness Complex, Air Traffic Control Tower, accommodation blocks for members on courses, Chapel and Community Support Facilities and a number of other upgrades to buildings and services around the base.
RAAF Base East Sale has been a permanent flying training base since opening on 22 April 1943, following a War Cabinet decision to relocate No 1 Operational Training Unit (1OTU), flying Beaufort light bomber aircraft, from West Sale and Bairnsdale.
From its opening until cessation of hostilities, 3,158 pilots, navigators, signalers and gunners were trained at the Base. Almost all of these crews later operated in the Pacific theatre of war.
After World War II, RAAF Base East Sale remained, functioning as the main post-graduate flying training base of the Royal Australian Air Force. The activities conducted at East Sale have remained largely unchanged for over fifty years.
To date, more than 18 different types of RAAF aircraft have been based at East Sale. These include Beaufort, Hudson, Ventura, Oxford, Fairey Battle, Kittyhawk, Beaufighter, Lincoln, Mustang, Dakota, Mosquito, Chipmunk, Vampire, Canberra, HS748, Winjeel, Macchi, CT4, PC9 and B200 Kingair.
RAAF Base East Sale, in the 21st century, continues its vital role of training aircrew, air traffic controllers and photographers, as well as providing support to the wider ADF and local community.
No.1 Flying Training School
No.1 Flying Training School was formed in January 2008 following the creation of the RAAF Air Combat Officer (ACO) specialisation. The mission of SAW is to train and develop Air Warfare professionals. ACO graduates from SAW will be employed on various RAAF capabilities including F/A-18F Super Hornets, AP-3C Orions, RNZAF P3-K and AEW&C Wedgetails.
In addition to ACO training, SAW provides training for Royal Australian Navy Maritime Aviation Warfare Officers (AvWO’s), RNZAF Air Warfare Officers and Aviation Instructors for RAN, RAAF, RNZN, and RNZAF.
No 453 Squadron
Air traffic control in Eastern Victoria has been formally provided by the military since at least as far back as the late 1940s during which time RAAF Station East Sale was completed (1945). At the time air traffic control was provided as a Base service as part of the Administrative Squadron of Headquarters RAAF Station East Sale. With the reformation of Headquarters RAAF East Sale in 1952 the air traffic control function was allocated to Base Squadron East Sale. The current Tower was constructed in 1959 with operations commencing in 1963.
No 32 Squadron
Hastily formed at Port Moresby in February 1942 with personnel drawn from other units, No 32 Squadron commenced reconnaissance and bomber operations from the very day of its formation.
In September 1942 the squadron was withdrawn to Southern Australia and re-equipped with Australian built Beauforts, spending the remainder of the war patrolling off Australia's east coast in search of enemy shipping. The unit was disbanded in November 1945.
No 32 Squadron was then reformed at East Sale on 1 July 1989 with HS748 aircraft from the School of Air Navigation (SAN) and later on, No 34 Squadron. The unit was responsible to Air Lift Group, through No 84 Wing, for Navigator and RAN Observer Training and light transport support for the Australian Defence Force. The Squadron was later equipped with four B200 King Air aircraft to augment SAN training following protracted serviceability problems with the HS748, which were eventually retired in June 2004.
School of Air Traffic Control (SATC)
Australian Military Air Traffic Control (ATC) training commenced at RAAF Laverton during August 1946. The following year, ATC training transferred to No 1 Advanced Flying Training School, RAAF Point Cook where it remained until 1956. On 21 December 1956, ATC training again transferred, this time to RAAF East Sale, where it continued under the auspices of C Flight, Central Flying School until 11 May 1981, when it became an independent unit - the School of Air Traffic Control (SATC). SATC is one of seven aviation-related training units within Air Training Wing, under the Air Force Training Group.
Central Flying School (CFS)
Central Flying School (CFS) was formed at Point Cook, Victoria, on 7 March 1913, and as such is the oldest military aviation unit in Australia and one of the oldest in the world. It is possible to trace the beginnings of CFS back to 1909, when the Department of Defence began to recognise the potential of developing aviation as an instrument of war.
In late 1911 the Minister for Defence, Senator Pearce, attended an Imperial Conference in London. The Senator returned to Australia convinced of the need to develop an Australian Flying School and Aviation Corps, and was successful in securing political and financial support for the proposal. On 9 August 1912 the Chief of the General Staff, Brigadier General J.M. Gordon, submitted a proposal for a military flying school and corps to the Department of Defence. This proposal was approved by the Minister for Defence on 20 September 1912.
The first Flying Instructor's Course (FIC) commenced soon after. No 1 FIC graduated on 28 June 1948 after completing a nine month course.
In 1967 CFS began its first ‘all through' jet Flying Instructors Course in preparation for the introduction of the Macchi as the RAAF's new elementary and advanced flying trainer.
Since 1962, Central Flying School (CFS) has formed three separate formation aerobatic teams. These teams, known respectively as the Red Sales, Telstars and Roulettes, have presented aerobatic displays at hundreds of events across Australia seen by almost two million people.
No 30 Squadron
No 30 Squadron was established at RAAF Station Richmond on 9 March 1942 as a long range fighter squadron operating the Bristol Beaufighter.
The squadron redeployed to Sydney on the aircraft carrier HMS Glory, arriving on 12 December 1945. Moving to Deniliquin, NSW on 16 December 1945 as a nucleus, it finally disbanded on 15 August 1946. Sixty eight unit personnel had died on active service during its four years of existence.
No 30 (Target Towing) Squadron was re-formed as part of the Citizen Air Force in March 1948 at RAAF Base Richmond to support Navy, Army and Air Force training as well as research conducted by the CSIRO.
The squadron was relocated to RAAF Base Schofields in March 1949 then RAAF Base Fairbairn in September 1952 and RAAF Base Richmond in April 1954 before disbanding on 21 March 1956.
When the Bristol Bloodhound Mk I surface to air guided missile capability was introduced into the RAAF in January 1961, No 30 Squadron was reactivated. It remained the RAAF's only surface to air missile unit until it was disbanded in November 1968.
As a result of a review of Combat Support Group's organisation, No.30 (City of Sale) Squadron was re-formed on 1 July 2010 from Combat Support Unit East Sale. It is currently responsible for providing airbase support services to lodger and deployed units at RAAF Base East Sale.
Officers’ Training School (OTS)
Officers' Training School (OTS) was formed on 12 April 1950 at RAAF Station Rathmines, a World War Two flying boat base located at Lake Macquarie, New South Wales. The School's first Commanding Officer was Wing Commander P.J. McMahon, DFC.
In May 1956 a re-organisation of training requirements saw each flight of OTS become an independent squadron, and Officers' Training Squadron was formed.
The last course to graduate from the Officers' Training Squadron id so on 3 November 1960 and RAAF Station Rathmines was closed.
The squadron was relocated to Point Cook in January 1961, and renamed Officers' Training School. At the end of 1986, the school was closed and its functions absorbed into the RAAF College structure. It was not until July 1998 that OTS once again became an independent unit. In January 2008, Officers' Training School moved from Point Cook to the new facility at RAAF Base East Sale.
The unit conducts the majority of initial officer training for Air Force via the Initial Officer Course (IOC). The IOC is structured and delivered to cater not only for permanent Air Force students, but RAAF Active Reserve (RAAFAR) officer trainees and RAAF specific training for RAAF officer cadets of the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). In this way, OTS graduates around 200 students from the full IOC, and trains roughly an additional 300 RAAFAR and ADFA students at various times in any one year. In addition, OTS conducts the Specialist Reserve Induction Course bi-annually.
OTS is also responsible for overseeing Single Service Training for RAAF officer cadets of the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). This training, together with the common military training taught at ADFA, gives those students the equivalent of the IOC.
Air Training Wing (ATW)
Air Force Training Group, formerly Training Command – Air Force, came under the control of Air Commander Australia as a Force Element Group on 1 July 2006. The group headquarters is currently located at RAAF Base Williams - Laverton, Victoria, with previous sites including Albert Park in 1953, Victoria Barracks in 1959 and Point Cook in 1990. This coincided with the creation of Air Training Wing as a separate entity.
Air Training Wing is responsible for conducting basic and instructor training for pilots, air combat officers, and air traffic controllers; basic photographer training and aircrew combat survival training. Air Training Wing manages the following units that are located throughout Australia:
Air Training Wing operates PC-9/A aircraft for Pilot training (at No 2 Flying Training School) and Pilot Instructor training (at Central Flying School). No 32 Squadron operates B350 aircraft that provide direct support to No.1 Flying Training School. Air Training Wing also promotes RAAF Public Relations through flypasts and flying displays by the RAAF Roulettes, the RAAF Museum and the RAAF Balloon.
No 1 Expeditionary Health Squadron (1EHS) Detachment East Sale
The East Sale Health Centre (ESHC) is a Vice Chief of the Defence Force (VCDF) unit which comprises ADF, APS and Aspen contracted staff and is primarily responsible for the delivery and management of quality, safe, efficient and effective health care to ADF personnel. The centre transferred from Air Force to VCDF Group in January 2012. Air Force staff from No 1 Expeditionary Health Squadron detachment East Sale provide augmentation to ESHC.
The centre comprises Medical, Dental and Mental Health and Psychology Section, incorporating Primary Health Care, Environmental Health, Physiotherapy and Pharmacy to dependants of RAAF Base East Sale and Newborough Training Depot.
Training Aircraft Systems Program Office (TASPO)
In August 1993, Training Aircraft Logistics Management Squadron (TALMSQN) was formed in Laverton, as part of the Logistics Support Agency following which it was relocated to East Sale in April 1994. TALMSQN changed to Training Aircraft Systems Program Office (TASPO) in December 2001 in line with the formation of the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO).
TASPO provides sustainment, acquisition and technical airworthiness assurance services for primarily the PC-9/A, B300 Navigation Trainer and B300 Interim Light Transport aircraft, including associated ground based equipment and systems, while maintaining an ‘operational’ focus, a ‘minimum life-cycle cost’ view and a ‘risk management’ approach.
TASPO’s Mission is to safely achieve the Flying Program through: Minimising Downtime, Minimising Cost and Maximising Utility. Air Force partners are the Air Force Training Group, Air Mobility Group, Air Combat Group and Aerospace Operational Support Group.
The base is currently undergoing extensive redevelopment work and has hired local trades people to complete the job. In doing so strengthening the link between the base and the local community.
Base personnel are also involved in local community sporting groups such as the Sale United Football Club, the Sale City Football and Netball Club, and various other local groups.
Wellington Shire council has also created this website to profile the education, (from preschool to university), lifestyle (entertainment, recreation, the beach, the lakes, the shopping) and affordable homes in Sale. The website also includes copies of local job advertisements and profiles a growing number of companies, that value the skills and enthusiasm of those associated with RAAF Base East Sale. These businesses, range from local government to solicitors, accountants, healthcare and education providers, food processors, correctional facilities, and power generators. They welcome CVs and expressions of interest to meet ongoing skill needs in a variety of fields including administration, HR, marketing, finance, trades, teaching, health and professions.
- Link to regional information website
As well as the continuing support to the local community RAAF Base East Sale also supports a number of local and national charities annually. These charities include but are not limited to:
RAAF Base East Sale
Directions: For best directions to RAAF East Sale please see attached link.
Air Base Command Post: (03) 5146 6888
Media enquiries: (02) 6127 6199
For best directions to RAAF East Sale please see attached link.
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