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Australian Defence Force
PROMOTING MILITARY JUSTICE
AIR FORCE November 12, 2009
By FLTLT Skye Smith
SWORDS were drawn, rifles car-
ried, drums beaten and Colours flown
as RAAF Base Williamtown exercised
its Freedom of Entry to the City of Port
Stephens with a parade through Ray-
mond Terrace on October 17.
The parade was led by the Air
Combat Group's Chief of Staff,
GPCAPT Vincent Iervasi. 200 personnel
from practically every unit on-base par-
ticipated, while another 50 watched from
the sidelines with their families.
After the traditional challenge and
presentation of its Freedom of Entry
scroll to confirm its right, entry was
granted by Superintendent Charles
Haggett, of Port Stephens Local Area
Command, NSW Police, as F/A-18s
from 77SQN performed a four-ship for-
GPCAPT Iervasi said it was a privi-
lege to recognise the strong relationship
forged between the base and the city.
"The right of Freedom of Entry is
a significant honour that demonstrates
trust, loyalty and a sense of commu-
nity between a city and a military unit,"
GPCAPT Iervasi said.
"Over the last 33 years, RAAF
Base Williamtown has developed a
strong association with the City of Port
Stephens. Many base personnel have
been and continue to be involved in a
range of sporting activities, academic
pursuits and community events here.
"We are proud to exercise a tradition
that recognises this involvement and to
continue to foster an enduring relation-
ship between the city and RAAF Base
This strong relationship was extend-
ed when the Mayor of Port Stephens,
Councillor Bruce MacKenzie signed a
Communities for Air Force Agreement
on September 21. The agreement was
also signed by the Lord Mayor of
Newcastle, the Mayor of Ipswich and
the Senior ADF Officer Williamtown,
AIRCDRE Neil Hart.
"The agreement highlighted the local
government's commitment to recognise
Personnel from RAAF
and left, four F/A-18s
from 77SQN conduct a
flypast over the parade.
Photos: LAC Mark Friend
Air Force personnel and their families as
key members of the community and to
work with Air Force for the mutual bene-
fit of the community, Defence personnel
and operations," AIRCDRE Hart said.
Port Stephen's General Manager,
Peter Gesling, also experienced a Hornet
familiarisation flight over Newcastle to
gain a comprehensive overview of the
fast-jet capability and the many support
systems required for operations, as well
as Williamtown's flight paths.
RAAF Base Williamtown was first
granted the Freedom of the City of Port
Stephens on September 6, 1976 in rec-
ognition of the manner in which officers
and airmen of the base had served in
war and peace over the years, thereby
bringing added prestige to the city and
This exercising of its freedom rein-
forces the pride the Air Force has with
its municipality. It marked the 33rd
anniversary of the base receiving the
Freedom of Entry and also commemo-
rated Williamtown's 68th anniversary.
41, 44, 78, 81WGs
2, 3, 4, 76, 77SQNs
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