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Thirty-two Squadron at RAAF Base East Sale has been expanded, creating further employment opportunities in the local community.

The number of Beechcraft King Air aeroplanes at Sale has increased from 8 to 12 which will see increased maintenance requirements and more pilots based in the local community.

The King air is used for the training of mission aircrew, transport and other operational roles. Hawker Pacific is the prime contractor for the supply and support of the King Air fleet including maintenance, engineering and overall fleet management.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester, who is also the Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel, said RAAF Base East Sale underpinned the local economy.

“We’ve seen major upgrades funded with a $392 million investment by the Federal Government to secure a strong future for RAAF Base East Sale and see operations on base grow significantly,” Mr Chester said.

“This includes the transfer of the Basic Flight Training School from Tamworth to East Sale which became operational this year, bringing an influx of trainee pilots and instructors to the region.

“This will see all Navy, Army and Air Force recruits receive their initial pilot training in Sale. The Basic Flight Training School has been estimated to bring $15 million per year into the local economy in addition to the current Defence contribution of $12 million per year in direct wages and supplies.

“Up to 165 trainees are expected to come to Sale each year to undergo basic pilot training, with the first class of trainees to complete their training next month.

“A world-class defence force requires world-class training facilities and it’s great to see the scale and the quality of the development that’s occurred at RAAF Base East Sale.

“I will continue to work with the community and my colleagues to see RAAF Base East Sale maintain a presence as one of the key training hubs for the Australian Defence Force into the future.”

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