RAAF base marks 75 years

RAAF Base East Sale marked 75 years of operation with a parade and flypast on Friday.

The base officially formed on April 22, 1943, with the arrival of Number 1 Operational Training Unit, which was equipped with Bristol Beaufort light bomber aircraft.

The Air Force Central Flying School was relocated after World War 2 from RAAF Base Point Cook to East Sale in 1947.

The Sale base is now home to the Officer’s Training School, No.1 Flying Training School, the School of Air Traffic Control and Central Flying School.

Group Captain Dennis Tan, Officer Commanding, Air Training Wing, said the base had a proud history and played a major role in training the next generation of Air Force personnel under the Air Training Wing.

“The base is also well known as the home of the aerobatic flying team, the RAAF Roulettes, who have thrilled the crowds around Australia with their precision formation flying and are often seen practising in the skies over east Sale,” he said.

“The base has been a part of the Sale and Wellington Shire community, with Defence personnel, Defence contractors, Australian public servants and their families integrated within the local community for the past seven decades.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their support over the years, as we train the next generation of ADF aviation leaders for Australia.”

RAAF Base East Sale is also home to 32 Squadron, which flies the King Air multi-role aircraft, and 30 Squadron for airbase operations.

Gippsland MHR and Minister for Defence Personnel, Darren Chester, said as of early next year, under the banner of the Air Academy, RAAF Base, East Sale, would train all elementary officer aircrew for courses in pilot training, air traffic control, air combat officer and mission aircrew.