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RAAF Base Townsville

In 1939, Townsville City Council transferred the city airport to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). RAAF Base Townsville was formed on 15 October 1940 and has a long and proud association with the people of North Queensland.

Along with RAAF Base Tindal and RAAF Base Darwin, RAAF Base Townsville is one of northern Australia's primary Defence installations.

The Base is strategically important as it is often used as a staging or stepping-off point for forces being deployed on military operations, including Australian humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts. It also provides an important role in training future pilots and hosts a number of exercises during the year.

The following squadrons/units are based at RAAF Base Townsville:

  • Number 27 (City of Townsville) Squadron – Air Base Support
  • Number 65 Air Base Recovery Squadron – Air Base Recovery
  • Number 383 Squadron – Contingency Response Squadron
  • Number 452 Squadron Townsville Flight – Air Traffic Control
  • Combat Survival Training School – Evasion and Escape Training
  • Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment – Taipan (MRH-90) and Chinook (CH-47) helicopters
  • Number 1 Expeditionary Health Squadron detachment Townsville
  • Number 2 Security Forces Squadron detachment Townsville
  • Air Force Museum – The Heritage Center
  • Number 1 Wing, Headquarters
  • Number 101 Squadron Australian Air Force Cadets

RAAF Base Townsville is used as a mounting base for Army’s Townsville-based 3rd Brigade and as a training base for Air Force’s Air Combat Group and Air Mobility Group. It may also be used as a mounting base or forward operating base for Air Force operations and Naval Support operations in the Coral Sea.

Troops queue to board a C-130J Hercules during Exercise Precision in 2009 at RAAF Base Townsville

Front entrance to RAAF Base Townsville.

Townsville Airport

Townsville Airport operates under a joint user agreement with RAAF Base Townsville. RAAF Base Townsville allows civilian use of the runway with commercial airport facilities east of the main runway.