Headquarters RAAF College (HQRAAFCOL) exists to support the training and combat support performed by its units. HQRAAFCOL works towards producing the best possible training outcomes and combat support with the available resources.
RAAF College currently consists of the following units:
- Headquarters (HQRAAFCOL) at RAAF Wagga.
- No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU) at RAAF Wagga.
- No 31 (City of Wagga Wagga) Squadron at RAAF Wagga
- Air Force Band at RAAF Williams.
- Officers’ Training School (OTS) at RAAF East Sale.
- School of Postgraduate Studies (SPS) at RAAF Wagga.
RAAF College – History
RAAF College’s history extends back to the 1st of August 1947 when it was formed at Point Cook as an officer training institution. It was renamed the RAAF Academy in 1961 and commenced a partnership with Melbourne University, offering degree level education to the officer candidates progressing through it. This tradition continued until 1986 when the Australian Defence Force Academy opened in Canberra and took over responsibility for degree level officer entry education.
The Academy site and facilities at Point Cook were then used to establish a new RAAF College (RAAFCOL) responsible for initial and postgraduate officer training for Air Force. Schools within the College at the time were Officers’ Training School (OTS) and the School of Applied Management which included responsibility for the Basic Staff Course. In 1998, the role of the College was expanded with the incorporation of airmen recruit training through No. 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU) at RAAF Edinburgh and airmen promotion courses at the Airmen Leadership Flight, RAAF Wagga and its two satellite training centres at Richmond and Amberley.
In 2000, RAAFCOL was restructured to include all officer and airmen postgraduate residential and distance learning courses under the banner of the School of Postgraduate Studies (SPS) which was formed in Wagga. In 2005, the Central Band and the RAAF Museum became part of RAAFCOL followed in 2006 by the Air Command Band. By the end of 2006, RAAFCOL had overall responsibility for six individual units.
In January 2008, a number of RAAFCOL units completed moves to new locations. Of particular note was the relocation of 1RTU to RAAF Wagga and OTS to RAAF East Sale. Additionally, the Central Band and the Air Command Band amalgamated to create the Air Force Band (AFBAND) at RAAF Williams – Laverton.
RAAFCOL and Ground Training Wing (GTW) amalgamated on 01 January 2008 to form a much larger RAAFCOL with its headquarters at RAAF Wagga. Following further considerations, RAAFCOL and GTW split into two separate headquarters on 01 December 2009 with both remaining at RAAF Wagga.
At the time of the separation, RAAFCOL comprised of 1RTU, AFBAND, Defence International Training Centre (DITC), OTS and SPS, in addition to a small headquarters element. On 1 July 2013 No 31 (City of Wagga Wagga) Squadron transferred to RAAFCOL.