RAAF Base Williamtown

Located in New South Wales, 30 kilometres north of Newcastle, RAAF Base Williamtown is Australia’s premier fighter pilot training base and houses most of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighters.

RAAF Base Williamtown is home to the command, operational and support elements of Air Combat Group’s tactical fighter force components operating F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, Hawk 127 and PC-21 aircraft.

In addition the base is home to Surveillance and Response Group’s (SRG) Air Surveillance and Battlefield Management command and support elements and the E-7A Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft. The base also accommodates elements of the Air Warfare Centre and a number of Combat Support Units.

Newcastle Airport operates from RAAF Base Williamtown under a lease with Defence.

In residence

The following are based at RAAF Base Williamtown.

  • Headquarters Air Combat Group
  • Headquarters Surveillance and Response Group
  • No 41 Wing
  • No 42 Wing
  • No 44 Wing
  • No 78 Wing
  • No 81 Wing
  • Tactics and Training Directorate - Air Warfare Centre
  • Australian Defence Force Warfare Centre
  • No 1 Security Force Squadron, Headquarters
  • No 2 Squadron operating AEW&C E-7A Wedgetail aircraft
  • No 2 Squadron Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU) operating F-35A Lightning II aircraft
  • No 2 Squadron (2SQN) operating E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning control aircraft
  • No 2 Expeditionary Health Squadron, Headquarters
  • No 3 Squadron operating F-35A Lightning II aircraft
  • No 4 Squadron operating PC-21 Forward Air Control aircraft
  • No 26 (City of Newcastle) Squadron - Airbase Operations
  • No 76 Squadron operating Hawk Mk127 aircraft
  • No 77 Squadron operating F-35A Lightning II aircraft
  • No 381 Squadron - Contingency Response
  • No 453 Squadron Headquarters
  • No 453 Squadron - Williamtown Flight
  • No 1 Combat Communication Squadron - Williamtown Flight
  • Air Combat System Program Office
  • Tactical Fighter System Program Office
  • Surveillance and Response System Program Office
  • Airborne Early Warning and Control System Program Office

Noise mitigation

Noise abatement procedures and strategies for RAAF Base Williamtown are outlined in the RAAF Base Williamtown Aircraft Noise Management Plan.

RAAF Base Williamtown Base Aircraft Noise Management Plan (Dec 22) (PDF 1.65 MB)

Additionally, low-flying is restricted to specialist training operations in designated airspace over the Salt Ash Air Weapons Range, in the Western Airspace beginning approximately 200km to the west of RAAF Base Williamtown, and in areas south of Forster and Tuncurry.

Flying schedule

  • Night flights can operate until 10 pm (11 pm during daylight saving).
  • Flying after 10 pm (11 pm during daylight saving) may occur due to operational needs.

Community consultation

RAAF Base Williamtown is very much part of the Newcastle community with 2000 families living in the local area. The base contributes to the local community through:

  • community engagement and cultural awareness
  • school and youth programs
  • participation in local sport as competitors and administrators
  • volunteering with local charities and community groups.

RAAF Base Williamtown has created the Williamtown Advisory Group to establish links with local communities. The group made up of community representatives, local and state government departments, and Newcastle Airport Ltd. The group meets on a six-monthly basis.

Latest Williamtown Advisory Group meeting notes are available below.

WLM Advisory Group meeting notes - 6 June 2022 (PDF 636.35 KB)

Previous meeting notes and consultation documents can be accessed through the National Library of Australia web archives.