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AIR FORCE October 15, 2009
STILL GOING STRONG: During the 3SQN 93rd anniversary celebrations, WWII veterans Tom Russell (front)
and Peter Cuthbert from the 3SQN Association inspect 1 Flight during the ceremonial parade. Accompanying
them (left) is CO 3SQN WGCDR Terry van Haren.
Photo: LAC Clint McKay
By FLTLT Skye Smith
NUMBER 3 Squadron turned 93
on September 19, and serving mem-
bers, veterans, association members
and friends and family of the squad-
ron came together to celebrate the
historic event, which included a for-
"This day is important for 3SQN
to reflect upon its long and honour-
able history," CO 3SQN WGCDR
Terry van Haren said as he addressed
"It allows us to understand where
we come from and understand the
enduring spirit and character of the
He said the squadron's history
is testament to its unique character,
which is based on commitment to the
task, teamwork, improvisation and
"This spirit and character is endur-
ing at 3SQN; its ability to get the
job done, despite the challenges,"
WGCDR van Haren said.
The parade observed a one minute
silence in remembrance of fallen
members as the squadron's cannon
was fired as a mark of respect.
"It is with tremendous pride that
we show the 3SQN Colour today, a
Colour with 12 battle honours from
WWI and WWII, and to which we
will soon be adding battle honours
approved by the Governor-General,"
They include Malaya 1958-60
for air support missions flown in
the Thai-Malaya border crisis, and
Malaysia 1963-66 for air support mis-
3SQN fighting on MINISTER for Defence Per-
sonnel, Materiel and Science Greg
Combet is confident that the Lock-
heed Martin Joint Strike Fighter
(JSF) is the right aircraft for Aus-
He made his remarks during
a recent visit to the United States
where he visited the Lockheed
Martin facility at Fort Worth, Texas,
to review progress on the fighter.
"The visit has reinforced my
confidence that the JSF is the right
aircraft to meet Australia's future
air combat needs and represents
value for money for the Australian
taxpayer," Mr Combet said.
"The US Government contin-
ues to provide strong support for
the program and Lockheed Martin
continues to make good technical
Many challenges remain but
he is convinced that the company
and its industry partners, including
Australia, can meet them.
"The JSF will be the larg-
est single Defence acquisition in
Australia's history to date. The final
timing of Australia's acquisition [of
the fighter] and the delivery sched-
ule will be decided by the govern-
ment in late 2009," he said.
While in the US, the Minister
also visited Northrop Grumman and
Boeing to discuss current Defence
procurements and future projects
with the companies.
JSF's still the
one for us,
sions flown in the Malaysian emer-
"It is pertinent that we reflect
on 3SQN's long association with
Malaysia, which the squadron called
home for long periods over three dec-
ades," WGCDR van Haren said.
He paid tribute to 3SQN
Association members Peter Cuthbert
and Tom Russell who were instru-
mental in maintaining the associa-
tion's strong relationship with the
The two men inspected the parade,
accompanied by WGCDR van Haren.
Mr Cuthbert served in Africa and
Italy during WWII, attaining the rank
of FSGT. Mr Russell was one of the
original members who deployed with
3SQN and flew Kittyhawks during the
desert campaign. He is the last sur-
viving pilot of five who campaigned
across North Africa, Malta and Sicily.
A number of awards were also
presented during the parade, including
the Iraq Campaign Medal awarded to
CPL Trevor Keher.
That evening, 3SQN veterans and
association members attended an all
ranks dining-in night.
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