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AIR FORCE October 29, 2009
By FLTLT Bruce Chalmers and
FLGOFF Cindy Ritchie
THE Wagga community recently
enjoyed a rare opportunity to look
behind the hangar doors to view the
ADF at work, its assets and facilities,
and to speak with its people.
An estimated 10,000 people poured
through the gates of RAAF Base
Wagga on October 18 for its first open
day since 1996 as it showcased a vari-
ety of activities.
Navy, Army, Air Force and civil-
ian vehicles and aircraft were also on
show. The afternoon flying display
featured a Hornet, a Caribou and the
Roulettes, Navy Squirrel helicopters
and a Vampire, Sabre and Wirraway
from the Temora Aviation Museum.
Seated under fine blue skies, one
visitor was extremely impressed with
"It's awesome," Queenslander
Leon Dafter from Mackay said.
"The last air show I saw was at the
Bicentennial in Sydney, but this is so
much better because here I have been
able to get up close and personal with
the aircraft on display."
Wagga resident Bruce Johnston
added: "I haven't had time yet to see
everything but so far it's been very
good. It's been 20 or so years since I
last saw a display here. Having the Air
Force here is very good for Wagga,"
Director of Regional Events
AIRCDRE Rod Luke led the 2009
Open Day team.
"We wanted to open the base to the
local community so they could join us
and see the exciting things that hap-
pen on the base at Wagga," AIRCDRE
"Wagga has become the home of
the airmen. It's where our airmen com-
mence their recruit training, many of
them stay for their specialist technical
and support training.
"And all of them will return to
Wagga at some point as part of their
AIRCDRE Luke said his job
as Director of Regional Events was
rewarding and enjoyable because he
got to "work closely with the people
on base and the community as we dis-
played our base".
"We opened the workshops and the
work places to the local community so
that our people could tell their story,"
"We have enjoyed an exceptionally
healthy, ongoing relationship with the
Wagga community. We have become
part of the community and they have
become part of base life.
"It was great to see the day evolve
as we planned it to be. The weather
was fine and so many people took the
opportunity to see us demonstrate the
professional approach of our tri-serv-
ice and civilian team at RAAF Base
"My thanks to the staff at Wagga
for their efforts in holding such a suc-
cessful open day," he said.
WOFF-AF JJ Millar, who
attended the open day, said he was
"really impressed with the quality of
airmen and airwomen" at Wagga.
"They display the quiet profession-
alism and confidence that is so heart-
ening to see when I travel to bases,"
RAAF Base Wagga
opened for pub-
lic inspection on
More than 10,000
people took advan-
tage of the day to
view the base's
included drill demon-
strations by recruits,
a ceremonial parade
that included the Air
Force Band, obstacle
courses, high rope
challenges, tours of
1RTU and inspec-
tions of aircraft on
the ground and
The aerial display
was provided by an
F/A-18, a Caribou,
the Roulettes, the
Vampire, Sabre and
from the Temora
included a mix of
Navy, Army, Air Force
and civilian aircraft
It was the first open
day there since 1996.
CIVIC DUTY: FLGOFF Luke Ridgway
shows Wagga Mayor Kerry Pascoe, his
grandson Brendan Young, Shawn Scutcliffe
and grandaughter Britney Young the PC-9/A
Roulette ground display. Photo: LSIS Lee-Anne
BEST FOOT FORWARD:
Members of 17/09 Recruit
Training Course conduct
a drill demonstration.
Photo: ACW/T Sandra Midson
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