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AIR FORCE September 3, 2009
By CPL Andrew Hetherington
AFTER six months of hard, hot
work supporting ADF personnel in Iraq
and Afghanistan, Force Support Unit 1
(FSU 1) has returned to Australia.
FSU 1 officially took over the Billabong
Flats barracks in the MEAO from the previ-
ous unit -- the Force Logistics Level Asset 5
-- on February 11.
Unit XO SQNLDR James Pritchard said
the unit, which was staffed by Navy, Army
and Air Force personnel, performed to a
"There was a good mixing of the three
services and each has learnt a lot from the
others," SQNLDR Pritchard said.
Over the course of FSU 1's deploy-
ment, it had many different roles.
SQNLDR Pritchard said FSU 1 was a
cargo focus point, distributing equipment,
stores and spare parts throughout the
MEAO and providing camp-maintenance
personnel who worked in Kandahar and
For LAC Aidan Higgins, who worked
in the unit's Q store, working in a tri-
service unit was very enjoyable.
"It feels good to have supported the
personnel in Afghanistan -- to have sup-
plied everything they needed," LAC
"And, as long as no one complained, I
guess we were doing the right thing."
SQNLDR Pritchard said one of FSU 1's
major achievements came with the introduc-
tion of the RAAF C-17 to the MEAO.
"We were able to make the cargo sys-
tem work a lot better using the C-17 to
move equipment to where it was needed
or send it home if it was broken," he said.
He was also proud of the way the unit
was able to play a part in transporting
fallen soldiers back to Australia.
"We had an important role in making
sure the soldiers were received here and
sent home in a dignified way, ensuring it
all went smoothly.
"Unfortunately we had to perform that
task three times."
By FLTLT Skye Smith
WGCDR Bernard Grealy for-
mally took command of 79SQN
on a parade at RAAF Base Pearce
on August 12.
Commander Air Combat Group
AIRCDRE Neil Hart congratulated
WGCDR Grealy on his selection
to take the Hawk squadron into the
next era of pilot training.
"The former 78WG Executive
Officer comes to the unit with great
experience in Air Combat Group's
training and development pro-
grams," AIRCDRE Hart said.
"Air Combat Group will face
many challenges of transition over
the next decade, but I have full con-
fidence that WGCDR Grealy will
lead 79SQN into the future."
These challenges include ACG's
requirement to reshape training to
meet the demands of new-generation
aircrew with transitions to Super
Hornet and Joint Strike Fighter,
mid-life maintenance support for the
Hawk aircraft and ensuring cost effi-
ciency for training programmes in
line with the Defence White Paper
and Strategic Reform Program.
On receiving the unit com-
mand, WGCDR Grealy recognised
SQNLDR Thomas Van Rooyen's
outstanding leadership and com-
mitment as temporary commanding
WGCDR Grealy said it gave him
a great deal of pleasure to take com-
mand of 79SQN.
"We face many challenges over
the next few years, but I am con-
fident the squadron's commitment
and resilience will ensure it contin-
ues to directly contribute to the air-
combat capability," WGCDR Grealy
said.AIRCDRE Hart took the oppor-
tunity to present a number of
79SQN members with medals and
awards during the parade.
at FSU 1: 4959
FSU 1 back
Taking the reins at 79SQN parade
parade in the
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