After a four week Christmas stand down, Royal Australian Air Force Base Williamtown jet aircraft will soon take to the skies for a new flying year for 2012.
One of the first activities to resume will be weapons delivery training at the Salt Ash Air Weapons Range (SAAWR).
Senior Australian Defence Force Officer for RAAF Base Williamtown, Air Commodore Tony Grady, said residents from Medowie, Salt Ash and Lemon Tree Passage can expect jet aircraft activity from 23 January to 5 February (day); and 20 February to 18 March 2012 (day and night).
“The Base will gradually increase its flying activities over the next few weeks in January in preparation for a busy flying year,” AIRCDRE Grady said.
“Base personnel are gearing up for international and national training exercises throughout 2012, which will involve all of the aircraft types that operate from Williamtown, including the Hornets, Hawks, PC-9s and Wedgetail aircraft.
“Number 3 Squadron, which will be operating over SAAWR next week, is going ‘back to basics’ in order to hone safe and strong foundation weapon employment skills, in preparation for a series of major international exercises in Malaysia and the Northern Territory later in the year.
“The exercises over the range are a necessary and normal part of the flying and training activity for our Hawk and Hornet pilots.”
The practice weapons delivery sessions will occur between 8:30am and 4:30pm most days. There will be some night time use of SAAWR between 20 February and 18 March. During the training, aircraft will drop inert (dummy) practice weapons that contain a small smoke marking device that activate when the weapon hits the ground.
Air Commodore Grady said the majority bulk of jet fighter training activity was conducted over the ocean.
“However it remains operationally necessary for pilots to practice flying over land, and conduct weapons delivery practice at the range,” AIRCDRE Grady said.
“RAAF Base Williamtown remains committed to providing local residents with information on flight activities, to minimise any disruption people might experience due to aircraft noise from fighter jets.
“I emphasise that this information is advisory only, as flying programs can change at short notice due to essential operational requirements.”
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,