RAAF Williams

RAAF Williams
RAAF Point Cook
RAAF Laverton
Point Cook and Laverton
Near Melbourne, Victoria in Australia
RAAF Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 YPMC Creek.jpg
Take off of a RAAF Lockheed C-130 Hercules at RAAF Williams, Point Cook, in 2006
RAAF Williams is located in Melbourne
RAAF Williams
RAAF Williams
Location south-west of Melbourne CBD
Coordinates37°55′54″S 144°45′12″E / 37°55′54″S 144°45′12″E / -37.93167; 144.75333
TypeMilitary air base
Site information
OwnerDepartment of Defence
Operator Royal Australian Air Force
WebsiteRAAF Williams
Garrison information
GarrisonAir Force Training Group
Occupants
Airfield information
IdentifiersICAO: YMPC
Elevation4 metres (14 ft) AMSL
Runways
DirectionLength and surface
04/221,137 metres (3,730 ft) Asphalt
08/261,066 metres (3,497 ft) Grass
17/351,374 metres (4,508 ft) Asphalt
Sources: Australian AIP and aerodrome chart[1]

RAAF Williams (ICAO: YMPC) is a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) military air base set across two locations, at Point Cook and Laverton, located approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) south-west of the Melbourne central business district in Victoria, Australia. Both establishments previously existed as separate RAAF Bases (RAAF Base Point Cook and RAAF Base Laverton) until 1989 when they were amalgamated to form RAAF Williams. The name was chosen in honour of Air Marshal Sir Richard Williams, the 'father' of the RAAF.[2]

RAAF Williams, Point Cook is the birthplace of the Royal Australia Air Force and is the oldest continually operating military airfield in the world.[3]

RAAF Williams, Point Cook

The land area at Point Cook was purchased by the Australian Government in 1912 with the vision to form what would become the Australian Flying Corps. Due to the success of the AFC in the First World War, the AFC became a separate service, now known as the Royal Australian Air Force. Point Cook remained the RAAF's only base until 1925 when RAAF Base Richmond and RAAF Base Laverton were also built.

Point Cook is considered the birthplace and the spiritual home of the RAAF. It is also the airport at which the Royal Victorian Aero Club was established. It contains a memorial parade ground which was built in the 1920s, a site which was previously used by the AFC for drill training. Point Cook still has an operating airfield, but military operations are generally restricted to the museum based there. The airfield is used by a number of general aviation users, although it is still classified as a military aerodrome. It is the oldest continuously operating military aerodrome in the world.[3] Radio communication frequencies include CTAF on 126.2 MHz. The airfield NDB is inactive.

RAAF Williams, Point Cook, is the former home of the RAAF College including Officer Training School (OTS) and the RAAF Academy from 1961 to 1985, and is currently used for the Air Force element of the Australian Defence Force Gap Year Program. All administrative functions are located at RAAF Williams, Laverton, and there is a single mess service (Officers Mess Annexe) which provides a meal service to all personnel, and a bar service to Gap Year students only.

The RAAF Museum is located at Point Cook[3] and has a large collection of ex-RAAF aircraft and military memorabilia from the prewar years until recent decades. The museum is open to the public three days per week.[4]