Images from Williamtown Air Base, Australia


2015-08-29 Second Line of Defense has visited Williamtown in 2014 and we have done interviews with the Wedgetail squadron; and in 2015 for meetings with the Surveillance and Response Group.

According to the Australian Ministry of Defense website:

The Royal Australian Air Force is proud to have been a part of the Hunter since the late 1930s when the Defence Practice Area was first designated at Williamtown.  Defence looks forward to continuing its positive relationship with the local community.

It is Air Force’s intent that RAAF Base Williamtown remain as the nation’s main fighter pilot training base, and it will house most of the planned F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning aircraft.

RAAF Base Williamtown is the home base for the tactical fighter element of the Air Combat Group (ACG) and the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) element of Surveillance and Response Group (SRG).

The following squadrons are based at Williamtown:

  • No 453 Squadron (453SQN) Williamtown Flight
  • No 3 Squadron (3SQN) operating F/A-18 Hornet aircraft
  • No 77 Squadron (77SQN) operating F/A-18 Hornet aircraft
  • No 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU) operating F/A-18 Hornet aircraft
  • No 76 Squadron (76SQN) operating Hawk Mk127 aircraft
  • No 4 Squadron (4SQN) operating PC-9/A Forward Air Control aircraft
  • No 2 Squadron (2SQN) operating AEW&C Wedgetail aircraft
  • No 2 Expeditionary Health Squadron, Headquarters
  • 1 CCS (Combat Support Squadron) Detachment Williamtown
  • No 453 Squadron (453SQN) Headquarters
  • No 26 (City of Newcastle) Squadron – Airbase Operations
  • No 381 Squadron – Contigency Response
  • No 1 Security Force Squadron, Headquarters

The photos in the slideshow highlight aircraft based in Williamtown, or in the case of the KC-30A working with aircraft based at Williamtown.

An F/A-18 Hornet conducts an aerial display over RAAF Base Williamtown in preparation for the Wings over Illawarra Air Show.

F/A-18A Hornets based at RAAF Williamtown, NSW, participate in Exercise Aces North which was conducted in the Northern Territory. Exercise Aces North 2015 is the culmination of Fighter Combat Instructor (FCI) course held at RAAF Base Tindal and Darwin over the period 28 May-25 June 2015.

Exercise Aces North is supported by personnel and assets from Number 1 Squadron and Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit.

Two F/A-18A Hornets take off in formation from RAAF Base Williamtown during Exercise DAWN STRIKE. Dawn Strike represents the final mission of the Fighter Combat Instructor (FCI) Course held at RAAF Base Williamtown.

FCI course was run from 12 January to 26 June 2015 at Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU). The aim of FCI course is to graduate expert leaders and instructors capable of tactics development, validation and instruction and is run every two years.

KC-30A MRTT and E-7A Wedgetail conduct Air to Air refueling testing in the airspace near RAAF Williamtown. From 1-13 June 2015, air-to-air refueling (AAR) trials were conducted between a RAAF KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) and an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft.

A Royal Australian Air Force No. 2 Squadron E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft completes a night-time air-to-air refuel from a United States military KC-10 Extender Air-to-Air Refueling Tanker Aircraft.

Australian F-35A flying out of Luke Air Force Base, USA (credit Lockheed Martin)

The first squadron of ten F-35B Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) are operational after the United States Marine Corps (USMC) declared Initial Operating Capability (IOC) on 31 July 2015.

RAAF personnel working with JSF will be tapped into an international support network and will have the opportunity to work alongside Defence industry to sustain the JSF fleet.

Australia is scheduled to achieve IOC for its first Squadron of F-35s to be based at Williamtown in 2020.

No 76 Squadron Hawk-127 aircraft return to Squadron lines after conducting an aerial display during the No 76 Squadron Family day at RAAF Base Williamtown.

F-16 C aircraft from the 132nd Fighter Wing (132FW), Des Moines, IA are seen operating from the Williamtown Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base in preparation to launch during a Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) mission at the Williamtown RAAF Base, Australia on February 23, 2011.

The 132FW is seen conducting DACT mission “Sentry Down Under.”

All but the F-16 photos are credited to the Australian Ministry of Defence; the others to the USAF.