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May 24, 2012
C-130H's final bow
THE RAAF's C-130H was scheduled
to make one of its final public appear-
ances on May 19 and 20 when RAAF
Base Pearce opened up its doors for
the 2012 Defence Force Air Show.
At the time of going to print, the H
model Hercules -- to be retired from
service next month -- was set to line up
against the KC-30A, which was mak-
ing its debut at the show, along with
the Wedgetail, King Air, PC-9A, C-17A,
Hawk, Orion, Challenger, BBJ, Classic
and Super Hornet, the Roulettes and
Air Force Balloon. A B-52 Bomber from
the US Air Force would also take part.
Full coverage in the next edition.
Boeing's Wedgetail win
BOEING has been awarded a $55
million Electronic Warfare support
contract for Air Force's Wedgetail fleet.
Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare
made the announcement on May 4.
The contract, which will include soft-
ware development, testing and repair
of the Wedgetail's advanced Electronic
Warfare systems, is expected to pro-
vide employment for 27 engineers and
logistic specialists in South Australia.
In addition to the work undertaken by
Boeing, BAE Systems will be the prin-
Hornet tender opens
DEEPER maintenance of the F/A-18
Hornet is up for a new contract after
Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare
announced a request for tender for
the fleet. The winning tenderer will be
required to provide all deeper mainte-
nance requirements for the aircraft and
their associated systems. The tender
closes in July with the new contract
expected to take effect from April next
AS PART of its 75th birthday cel-
ebrations, 23SQN unveiled an honour
board as a permanent memorial to the
36 squadron members who died in the
pursuit of duty.
Commander Combat Support
Group AIRCDRE Tim Innes and
squadron CO WGCDR Simon
Nickson joined current and previous
squadron members, members of the
23SQN Association and family and
friends at a ceremony at the RAAF
Base Amberley Heritage Centre on
CHAP FLTLT Craig Boettcher
dedicated the honour board.
WGCDR Nickson said the anni-
versary was a day of dual emotions.
"Today as we dedicate the squad-
ron's honour board we commemorate
and reflect upon those 36 young men
who gave their lives to achieve our
battle honours," WGCDR Nickson
"Not one of those men reached the
age of 30. Most were under the age
of 25 -- the youngest, AC Keith James
Clark from the small Queensland
country town of Georgetown, was
only 18 years old when he died in an
aircraft accident in 1943."
After the ceremony, ACW
Cheyenne Patena-Edmonds joined
WGCDR Nickson in cutting the spe-
cial commemorative cake.
The squadron's 75th anniversary
events continued with a formal din-
ner that evening.
23SQN formed as a Citizen Air Force
unit at Laverton, Victoria, in May
Its operational life started with
reconnaissance and anti-submarine
patrols off the east coast of
In May 1943, the squadron
deployed to Queensland.
Equipped with Vultee Vengeance
dive bombers, the squadron com-
menced combat operations against
the Japanese in February 1944.
In April 1945, the squadron, re-
equipped with B-24 Liberator heavy
bombers, deployed to the Northern
Territory from where it conducted
a series of highly successful raids
on enemy equipment, shipping and
facilities until the end of the war.
In April 1948, 23SQN reformed
as a Citizen Air Force squadron,
and in July 2010 it transferred to
Combat Support Group, with an
increase in the size of its Permanent
Air Force establishment and role
The squadron now focuses on
the provision of Amberley com-
mand, coordination and support
functions, while maintaining its
responsibilities for administering
Brisbane-based reserve members.
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS FROM 1938
Nickson cut the
by, from left,
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