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AIR FORCE November 12, 2009
By FLTLT Eamon Hamilton
MEMBERS of 36SQN finally have a new home
to match the aircraft they operate.
The two-storey headquarters structure at RAAF
Base Amberley brings all elements of the squadron
-- from aircrew to maintainers, operations and orderly
room, and logistics -- under the one roof.
It is part of a new Heavy Air Lift precinct
on the base, which includes training facilities, the
33SQN hangar/headquarters building, and a new Air
A new building housing the squadron's C-17A
cockpit simulator will be handed over this month.
XO 36SQN SQNLDR Dave Jackson said it was
great to have a purpose-built facility.
"It appears to be enhancing our abilities to mount
and sustain operations, and it's awesome that we're
now collocated within the one facility," he said.
"The facility is how we wanted it --we've been
settling in and working out how we'll best utilise the
space available to us."
LAC Sydney Turner, a purchasing clerk with the
squadron, believes the new headquarters has estab-
lished 36SQN as a permanent Amberley resident. "We
know we're here now for the long run," he said.
"Beforehand, our headquarters was separate to
our maintenance flight -- now that we're in the same
building, it makes it a lot easier for information to flow
"Space-wise, it's brilliant -- now that we're in a
mature facility, we can set up a lot of processes that
might have been pushed to the wayside before in the
By LAC Aaron Curran
AIR FORCE'S C-17s have gone from the
basement to the penthouse with the opening
of a new hardstand and Air Movements ter-
minal at RAAF Base Darwin.
Previously, the aircraft had to park at the
Bomb Replenishment Apron, but as of October
27 they now sit right outside the new Air
Movements terminal on a hardstand specially
designed to accommodate their grand scale.
To put icing on the cake, new lighting,
line marking, a hangar with tie-downs for
ground support equipment, a wash bay for the
Australian Quarantine Inspection Service and
a secondary sewerage dump point were built
alongside the terminal and hardstand.
WGCDR John Willett, who oversaw the
management of the project from April 2008
until its opening, said apart from Foreign
Object Damage (FOD) issues and the notori-
ous wet season, it all went to plan.
"We had FOD issues because of the large
piles of dirt left over from the excavation," he
"The winds would just blow dirt and dust
everywhere. We ended up putting water trucks
over the area every few hours to saturate it and
keep it down."
Instead of having dozens of dump trucks
going in and out of the front gate, WGCDR
Willett blocked off a taxiway while work was
"Air Traffic Control was happy to work
with us on that so we had the trucks come in
from that direction," WGCDR Willett said.
"We also moved the old World War II water
tower to accommodate the hardstand."
The hardstand is made of a light-coloured
heavy concrete and encompasses a large area.
It can hold three C-17s plus some smaller air-
craft like C-130s.
Apart from the C-17s and their crews,
the other beneficiary of the new facilities
is 1 Airfield Operations Support Squadron
Detachment Darwin (1AOSS DET DAR).
OIC 1AOSS DET DAR FLTLT Leonard
a grand design
36SQN feels right
at home in new
Leyland said the section had been looking
forward to getting into the new facility as they
had been operating out of a temporary one for
more than 12 months.
"The design is excellent and we were
involved in the process the whole way
through," FLTLT Leyland said.
"It came together quite nicely and it would
have to be one of the best terminals in the Air
The new terminal can accommodate up to
400 personnel domestically and when there
are international flights it can handle up to 200
people going in and out at the same time.
"It's a big increase over what we used to
be able to do, and we have a lot more room to
operate," FLTLT Leyland said.
WGCDR Willet summed it up with: "The
Air Movements people were just busting to get
in here; they couldn't wait."
TOP END FACELIFT: OIC 1AOSS DET DAR FLTLT Leonard Leyland (right), and
WGCDR John Willett, who oversaw the management of the project, on the edge of the
new aircraft hardstand and in front of the new terminal building at RAAF Base Darwin.
Photo: LAC Aaron Curran
SPACIOUS: LAC Sydney Turner in
the new 36SQN HQ. Photo: LAC Dan
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