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May 27, 2010
THEY FORMED in the darkest days
of Australia's war when the nation was
directly at threat and to acknowledge
its distinguished past, No. 114 Mo-
bile Control and Reporting Unit (114
MCRU) has commemorated the 65th
anniversary of the Tarakan campaign
CAF AIRMSHL Mark Binskin
attended the Tarakan Day parade at the
unit's home at RAAF Base Darwin.
114MCRU deployed with
Australian troops on Tarakan Island in
1945 to provide radar air defence serv-
ices in support of allied forces during
The unit was granted the Borneo
1945 Battle Honour to recognise the
members' actions during the Tarakan
campaign, in which more than 200
Australians were killed.
CO 114MCRU WGCDR Stuart
Briese said the Tarakan campaign was
an important part of the unit's history.
"This is the first time the parade
has been held since 2007, which is the
year 114MCRU personnel deployed
to Afghanistan where they worked in
the Control and Reporting Centre in
Kandahar," WGCDR Briese said.
"The deployment as part of
Operation Slipper was the first over-
seas operational deployment for the
unit since its return from Malaysia in
OC 41WG GPCAPT Daryl Hunter
said the unit was one of the Air Force's
most valuable assets and has partici-
pated in almost every major Air Force
exercise since the 1970s.
"We are all proud of the history and
tradition that's built up in 114MCRU,
not only from its contribution in
WWII in the south-west Pacific area
of operations but again in the 1950s
during the Malayan Emergency while
deployed to Butterworth," GPCAPT
The Tarakan parade included mili-
tary manoeuvres and customs dating
from medieval times, including march-
ing and drill movements, parading of
the colours, and a Reviewing Officer's
address by AIRMSHL Binskin. The
Air Force Band provided the musical
accompaniment during the ceremony.
Following the parade, the unit held
an open day where families were invit-
ed to come and see what 114MCRU
does. For some of the children, it was
their first visit to RAAF Base Darwin.
It was a day of many 'firsts' as a
dining-in night was held that evening
for all 114 MCRU members.
"It was my first dining-in night and
it was such an enjoyable experience
I look forward to an opportunity to
attend another one," air surveillance
operator CPL Christine Bell said.
TRADITION: Above, 114MCRU
members march in the Tarakan Day
parade at RAAF Base Darwin, and
right, the unit's Colour on show.
AIR TIME: LAC James Warner, LAC
Salvatore Blasco-Celdia and CPL Richard
Sandham tune up before the parade.
Photos: SGT Errol Jones
RESIDENTS of towns in the vicinity of
the Salt Ash Air Weapons Range can look
forward to slightly quieter skies after Air
Force decided to halve the projected use
of the range by the Joint Strike Fighter
Reviews by Air Force have revealed
that much of the training requirements
needed for JSF purposes can be fulfilled
At the same time, Air Force will not
be closing the range, which is vital for
live training, and particularly for the
DCAF AVM Geoff Brown made the
announcement on May 17.
Local residents and councils were
concerned after Air Force indicated that
the JSF with its more powerful single
engine was noisier then the Hawk and
Hornet fighters that presently use the
DCAF's announcement follows an
extensive review by Defence into the
way the JSF would use the range and its
negotiations with Port Stephen Council
over several months.
"We have assessed that we can make
a significant difference to levels of air-
craft noise near the range," AVM Brown
Reducing the JSF's proposed use of
the range would bring the noise con-
tours back closer to levels and ensure
the future of the range as an essential
training environment for Air Force.
"This review outcome doesn't change
the noise contours in other parts of Port
Stephens, where we have no room to
move on our requirement to get aircraft
into and out of the Williamtown base.
"However, it does greatly improve
the circumstance of communities in
the immediate vicinity of the range and
decreases the planning challenges for
Port Stephens Council," he said.
Less noise at Salt Ash
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