Williamtown RAAF hosts F-35 JSF community day

Residents of Banksia Grove village and two Port Stephens councillors were part of a wider contingent of visitors who attended an F-35A community day hosted by RAAF Base Williamtown last Friday.

The morning visit, which coincided with the 77th birthday of 77 Squadron celebrations, was provided for community members, leaders, organisational representatives and Defence community partners. No media was invited.

Senior Australian Defence Force Officer, GPCAPT Peter Cluff, said it was important that Defence maintained a community connection.

"The opportunity to provide our friends and neighbours with an insight into the Air Force's newest capability, the F-35A aircraft and its supporting facility, is a great privilege," he said.

"Guests were treated to a 'windscreen' familiarisation tour and a unique insight into the base, its infrastructure and its history."

Boarding buses at Fighter World, guests were treated to a tour of the base with Air Force personnel providing commentary about its infrastructure and history.

The highlight of the tour program was the F-35A precinct.

Guests were invited to view the facility including state-of-the-art maintenance and training areas developed for the F-35A, which welcomed two aircraft in December 2018 and the third and fourth aircraft in April this year.

A static display of an F-35A aircraft formed the centrepiece of the program with operating pilots on-hand to answer questions relating to the aircraft and its capability.