Driver training courses in Gippsland

If you’ve noticed an increased presence of ‘Army’ vehicles on the roads throughout Gippsland, they are likely 30 Squadron vehicles that are being used for Air Force Driver Training courses.

30 Squadron is providing vital training for Air Force members from across Australia on the Mercedes G-Wagon and the Rheinmetall MAN 40M Truck.

The Mercedes G-Wagon has a number of models, including 4×4 and 6×6 variants, which can be seen on the local roads during the regular Driver Training Courses and also for daily use by members at RAAF East Sale.

Army vehicles such as these have been spotted around Sale recently, as Driver Training courses are underway.

The most recent course graduated 10 Air Force members with a G-Wagon license.

The course involved instruction on driving on sealed and unsealed roads, loading and unloading, difficult terrain driving, and winching and recovery methods. The much larger 40M is used more irregularly, however, locals may still be able to spot it out and about in the Sale region.

In addition to their use within Defence, primarily by Army, both of these vehicles have been used in recent years to provide much-needed support to local communities during bushfire emergencies and flood emergencies.

Please give the drivers a wave if you manage to spot them in your area.

Air Force Cadets

The Australian Air Force Cadets No. 409 (City of Sale) Squadron will soon be recruiting for 2024.

If you are in Year 7 to 16 years of age in 2024 and are interested in aviation, drones, leadership, STEM, bushcraft, making new friends or thinking about a career in the Australian Defence Force, No. 409 Squadron is keen have you join them.

Interested in aviation? The Air Force Cadets are now taking applications.

Expressions of Interest can be submitted up until November 18 for the January 2024 intake.

You can email to find out more, including their Open Day on Tuesday, November 7 2023 from 1900 (7pm) to 2030 (8.30pm).

What’s on at Dutson Range

Dutson Training Area will be active during the periods listed below for Field Training Exercises.

Some of these activities may involve demolition practices and, as such, explosions may be heard between the hours of 0900 (9am) and 1600 (4pm) each day.

Public recreational usage of Lake Wellington will not be affected by these exercises.

October 27 – November 9 – Initial Officer Training including blank ammunition firing and pyrotechnics;

  • November 14 – Survival Pyrotechnic Training;
  • November 15-16 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training, and;
  • December 06-07 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training.

While RAAF personnel strive to inform the public of all activities conducted at Dutson Training Area, explosions may be heard outside of the dates listed above if dictated by operational requirements.

Warning to hunters

In the interest of public safety, notification is hereby given that access to DUTSON TRAINING AREA is PROHIBITED.

DUTSON TRAINING AREA is still an active weapons range, and presents a significant hazard to all persons within the range boundaries.

Dutson Training Area Range Boundaries.

The hazard not only exists during range activation for weapons exercises, but also during times of inactivity. This is due to the very high levels of Unexploded Explosive Ordnance on this range, some dating back to World War 2, much of which is in an unstable condition.

Unmarked silted in bomb craters present another significant hazard.

You are reminded that it is an offence, under Section 89 and 89A of the Commonwealth Crimes Act to trespass on Defence land, and to discharge firearms on or over Commonwealth land.

For further information, phone Sergeant Nick Young on 0429 402 049.

Aircraft Operations at East Sale

If you are interested in learning more about the role of RAAF Base East Sale, flying operations and flying areas, you can visit:

This includes a link the RAAF East Sale Noise Management Plan. The Defence approach to noise mitigation and Air Force fly neighbourly policy can also be found through the ‘Understanding Noise’ site.

General information

Any enquiries relating to activities at RAAF Base, East Sale, should be directed to the Air Base Command Post on 5169 9892.

You can also email