The Defence presence in Victoria has reduced in recent years, however the State remains a vital command, administration, training and Defence industry location.
The primary role of HMAS Cerberus is Navy personnel training. With the establishment of four tri-Service schools, this role has been extended to training Army, Navy and Air Force personnel. Despite change, the charm of HMAS Cerberus remains. Its historic presence, heritage buildings, chapels, sports facilities and gardens create a pleasant training environment.
The regular Australian Army presence in Victoria is concentrated at Simpson Barracks in Watsonia, Melbourne home to: the Royal Australian Signals; the famous Puckapunyal training area; and the Albury-Wodonga Military Area, which includes the key support bases at Bandiana and Bonegillia with the Army Logistics Training Centre (ALTC). Puckapunyal is the home of the Land Warfare Development Centre (LWDC), Combat Arms Training Centre (CATC), including the School of Armour and School of Artillery and the Distribution Division.
RAAF Base East Sale
The Royal Australian Air Force’s RAAF Base East Sale, in Victoria’s Gippsland region, is the location of several specialist training schools including Central Flying School, Air Training Wing, Schools of Officers’ Training (OTS), Air Traffic Control, Aviation Warfare and Photographic Training Flight. RAAF Base East Sale is probably best known as home to the Roulettes aerobatic display team from Central Flying School. It is now also the location of Officer Training School.
RAAF Base Williams
The Royal Australian Air Force’s RAAF Base Williams comprises two bases 20kms south-west of Melbourne at Laverton and Point Cook. Each has a proud place in Australia’s military aviation history, Point Cook as the birthplace of the Air Force and oldest continually-operating military airfield in the world, and Laverton as the Air Force’s third base. The RAAF Museum is housed at Point Cook and the RAAF Central Band work from Laverton. The two bases were merged into one in 1999 and the main function of the two bases now is training.