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November 10, 2011
CPL Zenith King
AS THE motorcade carrying the Queen
approached the Australian War Memo-
rial (AWM), members of Australia's
Federation Guard (AFG) catafalque
party waited nervously at the Tomb of
the Unknown Australian Soldier.
During their final day in Canberra
the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh
laid a wreath at the AWM on October
25. Member in waiting LAC Adrian
Bada said he was excited to be part of
"I was nervous but mainly because
I was excited to see the Queen," LAC
"But when we got there and saw the
amount of people who had turned up,
that was when it really sunk in."
LAC Bada, who stood outside the
tomb while the Queen laid the wreath,
said it was a surreal moment.
"I always knew when I was posted
to AFG I would be doing drill but I
never thought I would have the opportu-
nity to do it for Her Majesty," he said.
"It was a highlight of my career."
Drummer AB Luke Cunningham
was honoured to be part of the cata-
"It's not every day you get to do a
catafalque party for the Queen," AB
AIR Force played a key role in the
latest royal tour of Australia.
From October 19 to 29, Queen
Elizabeth II and the Duke of
Edinburgh, Prince Philip, visited
Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne
and Perth, and were met by large
crowds in each city.
34SQN again provided special
purpose transport for each trip
The Queen's first trip with
34SQN came during the 1962
royal tour, when she flew in a
piston-engine Convair 440 to all
Australian states and territories.
For the 2011 royal tour, all
flights within Australia were
conducted by a 34SQN Boeing
Business Jet (BBJ).
The Squadron's Challenger
CL-604s provided invaluable ancil-
lary support as a standby in the
event of any delays.
FLTLT Phil McMaster was one
of the BBJ pilots who flew on the
tour, and said it had been a career
"All pilots and crew attendants
engaged with the task had great
anticipation of the visit, it was an
honour to be involved."
The 90-year-old Duke of
Edinburgh took a firsthand interest
in 34SQN's work.
"We were quite privileged to
have the Duke of Edinburgh sit in
the jumpseat for some departures
and arrivals, and see our work up
close," FLTLT McMaster said.
CPL Lisa Hockings was one
of the crew attendants who sup-
ported the royal tour, and likewise
felt privileged to be chosen.
"Her Majesty was an absolute
pleasure to serve, and very thank-
ful for everything we did for her,"
CPL Hockings said.
Royal duty for 34SQN
Day to remember
after nervous wait
SPIC AND SPAN: LACW Rebecca
Thompson stands at attention at the
Tomb of the Unknown Australian
Photo: LAC Leigh Cameron
VIP PASSENGERS: Left,
the Queen and Prince Philip
are greeted by dignitaries at
Melbourne Airport after arriving
aboard a 34SQN BBJ aircraft.
Photo: David Foote
WHAT AN HONOUR: Below,
Australia's Federation Guard
members LAC Adrian Bada,
CPL Ben Barnard and AB Luke
Cunningham await the Queen
and Duke of Edinburgh at the
Australian War Memorial.
Photo: LAC Leigh Cameron
"Being able to salute during The
Last Post and knowing the Queen was
there was a pretty special occasion.
"Not many 19-year-olds have done
Catafalque Party commander CPL
Ben Barnard said it was the media inter-
est that surprised him the most.
"Initially there were about 20 media
crews inside the tomb with us but as
the Queen approached more flooded in,
bringing it to about 50," he said.
"It was a small space and you didn't
know if a camera was pointing at you
The Tomb of the Unknown
Australian Soldier commemorates the
sacrifice of Australians who have died
' Her Majesty was an
absolute pleasure to
serve, and very thank-
ful for everything we
did for her.
-- CPL Lisa Hockings
"It was a little nerve-racking
just with the excitement of serving
them for the first time, but when
you meet them the training kicks in
and you get on with it."
34SQN also played a key role
at the royal reception in Canberra
on October 19.
The Queen and Prince Philip
arrived at Defence Establishment
Fairbairn on board a British
Airways Boeing 777 airliner.
They were met by a full cere-
monial party, including Australia's
Federation Guard, on the 34SQN
WGCDR Rob Williams, Staff
Officer VIP Operations, said the
arrival was the result of months of
"34SQN Security Section had
been planning for the arrival over
the past few months, and with
perfect Canberra spring sunshine,
34SQN Security Section and
Corporate Air Services, supported
by other 34SQN personnel, pro-
vided security and coordination of
the ceremonial arrival."
The event required the coor-
dination of nearly 400 members
of the public, 90 members of the
media, Australia's Federation
Guard and nearly 60 officials,
including the Governor-General,
the Prime Minister, the ACT Chief
Minister and Chief of the Defence
"34SQN received considerable
praise for their involvement in the
event which was an overwhelming
success," WGCDR Williams said.
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