|RAAF Base Williamtown|
|An F/A-18A Hornet taking off from RAAF Base Williamtown|
|The entrance to Fighter World museum|
|IATA: NTL – ICAO: YWLM|
|Owner||Royal Australian Air Force|
|Location||Williamtown, New South Wales, Australia|
|Built||15 February 1941|
|Elevation AMSL||31 ft / 9 m|
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|Sources: Australian AIP and aerodrome chart|
RAAF Base Williamtown (IATA: NTL, ICAO: YWLM) is a Royal Australian Air Force base and headquarters to Australia's Tactical Fighter group. The base is located 8 nautical miles (15 km; 9.2 mi) north of the coastal city of Newcastle, New South Wales (27 km (17 mi) by road) in the local government area (LGA) of Port Stephens. The military base shares its runway facilities with Newcastle Airport. The nearest major town is Raymond Terrace, located 8 km (5 mi) west of the base. Medowie, 6.8 km (4.2 mi) north of the base, is home to many of the base's staff.
RAAF Station Williamtown was established on 15 February 1941 to provide protection for the strategic port and steel manufacturing facilities of the Hunter Region. The base was initially served by four runways, each 1,100 m (3,600 ft) in length to meet the needs of the Williamtown Flying School. The School consisted of 62 buildings which accommodates 366 officers and men.
A number of Australian Empire Air Training Scheme squadrons were formed at Williamtown before proceeding overseas and No. 4 Operational Training Unit was located at Williamtown from October 1942 until the unit was disbanded in April 1944. Following World War II Williamtown was retained as the RAAF's main fighter base and was equipped with squadrons of Gloster Meteor and F-86 Sabre fighters.
In 1983 the role of Williamtown was upgraded to a tactical fighter base in preparation of the replacement of the Mirages with 75 F/A-18 Hornets in 1989. The following year Williamtown became headquarters for the Tactical Fighter group and acquired new headquarter buildings, hangars, workshops, stores, medical facilities and a base chapel.
Currently Williamtown employs approximately 3,500 personnel, including military, civilians and contractors, and injects $150 million per annum by way of salaries into the Hunter Region economy. Williamtown is currently home to F/A-18 Hornet fighters (operated by No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit, No. 3 Squadron and No. 77 Squadron), BAE Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighters (operated by No. 76 Squadron), Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft (operated by No. 2 Squadron) and Pilatus PC-9 training aircraft (operated by No. 4 Squadron). It is also home to a number of headquarters and other units such as the Australian Defence Force Warfare Centre and Surveillance and Response Group.
RAAF Base Williamtown has most of the facilities you would expect to find in a small town, including sporting fields, recreation facilities, cinema and even a fortnightly newspaper highlighting activities around the Base and outside community.
In addition to its military units, RAAF Williamtown is the home to Fighter World, a museum dedicated to Australian fighter aircraft.
- AEWCSPO - Airborne Early Warning Control System Program Office
- GTESPO - Ground Telecommunications Electronic System Program Office
- TFSPO - Tactical Fighter System Program Office
- United States Army Air Forces in Australia (World War II)
- List of airports in New South Wales
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to RAAF Base Williamtown.|
- Aeronautical Chart page 1 (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 29 May 2014,
- "Government administration and defence" (PDF). Newcastle and the Hunter Region 2008–2009. Hunter Valley Research Foundation. pp. 6–7. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. http://web.archive.org/web/20091018064515/http://www.hvrf.com.au/pages/design/links/uploaded/govtadminanddefence.pdf. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- "RAAF Base Williamtown & Salt Ash Air Weapons Range Williamtown, NSW Heritage Management Plan" (PDF). Department of Defence. 11 September 2009. pp. 32–33. http://www.defence.gov.au/Environment/hmps/assets/pdf/RAAF_Base_Williamtown_HMP.pdf. Retrieved 20 April 2010. [dead link]
- Fighter Force News
- Fighter World
- "3 Wing: 335 Squadron". Australian Defence Force Cadets. http://www.cadetnet.gov.au/asp/index.asp?pgid=4405. Retrieved 2008-01-03.
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