Australia — Salt Ash Air Weapons Range training kicks off for 2012

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.”

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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