RAAF Base East Sale has a new state-of-the-art firefighting vehicle following the arrival of the new Broadspectrum Panther-S.

Broadspectrum Executives and RAAF Base East Sale personnel celebrated its arrival on February 28, with the Commanding Officer of Headquarters Air Academy, Wing Commander Neil Foate, and VIP guests including Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester and Director General Estate Service Delivery Commodore Allison Norris.

Guests were taken through the vehicle’s capabilities by Broadspectrum Station Officer John Hepworth and given a demonstration by firefighter Jamie Magyar of the FLAIM virtual reality training system.

FLAIM provides firefighters with the capacity to train in scenarios that are inherently unsafe and difficult to reproduce, and in many cases no longer possible due to environmental and regulatory constraints.

It combines realistic scenarios with a hose-force feedback system, breathing apparatus, real branches and nozzles and a heated firefighting jacket that simulates the heat of the fire and creates a realistic engagement.

“It is great to see our industry partners and contractors coming on the fifth-generation capability journey with us. The acquisition of the Panther-S is a great example of that cooperation,” Wing Commander Foate said.

The Panther-S arrived on base two weeks before the Gippsland bushfires and was used to support Operation Bushfire Assist.

“I want to thank Broadspectrum for their influence and their ability to work together in assisting us deliver this capability,” Commodore Norris said.

Broadspectrum East Sale has invested in this asset to support the success of the Pilot Training School and increased air movements of the PC-21 squadron.

The firefighting service they provide is an important component of the ground support that enables the safe operation of aircraft.