RAAF column – April 2024

MH-60R Helicopter. Photos: Contributed

Each year the Royal Australian Navy run an exercise in Bass Strait called Submarine Command Course (SMCC), with the purpose of qualifying new Commanding Officers for the Collins Class Submarines. The submarines are given a series of objectives to achieve over multiple weeks, while Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) assets such as the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ helicopter, P8 ‘Poseidon’, and surface ships all work together to hinder their efforts.

On Friday, March 15, the Fleet Air Arm were given a short notice tasking to send three Romeo Helicopters from HMAS Albatross, which is located in Nowra, to RAAF Base East Sale on Monday, April 18 to provide a greater footprint during the exercise.

The three Aircraft and personnel from Number 808 Squadron and Number 816 Squadron spent 12 days in Sale.

The Navy personnel flew every day whilst at RAAF Base East Sale, the three aircraft flew over 180 hours. The longest single flight completed by one of the crews was 10 hours.

Both Squadrons had a memorable and enjoyable experience in Sale, and would like to thank 30SQN, the support services at RAAF Base East Sale, plus all of the local community for welcoming them and enabling the detachment at such short notice. 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 9am and 4pm each day. Public recreational usage of Lake Wellington will not be affected by these exercises:

April 8-30 – Military training including blank ammunition

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.

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. The Dutson Range Boundaries are depicted on the map to the right.

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: www.defence.gov.au/aircraftnoise/EastSale. 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, or via email to esl.abcp@defence.gov.au

A Collins Class Submarine and MH-60R Helicopter off the Coast of Australia.

Dutson Training Area Range Boundaries. Image: Contributed