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June 20, 2013
STRIDING out the front gates, 200
members of RAAF Base Darwin,
and nine canine members, marched
through Darwin city on May 24 to the
delight of onlookers.
For the first time since the 1990s,
and the sixth time ever, the base exer-
cised its right to Freedom of Entry to
CO 13SQN WGCDR Robert
Graham, who led the parade, said
the Freedom of Entry was originally
granted to the base in 1966.
"We were challenged by the
Darwin Council CEO who stopped us
in the middle of the street by putting
his hand up and asking by what right
were we passing through the city," he
"The parade commander responded
by saying, 'Officers, WOFFs, airmen
and women of RAAF Base Darwin
exercising their right and privilege
to march through the City of Darwin
with swords drawn, drums beating,
bands playing and colours flying!'"
The colours of 114 Mobile Control
and Reporting Unit (114MCRU) and
92WG were on parade.
Members of 92WG enjoyed taking
part in the ceremony while deployed
in Darwin as part of Operation
CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown
attended the parade, which Darwin
Lord Mayor Katrina Fong Lim
The Air Force Band kept the hun-
dreds stepping in time before an
Free to enter Darwin
AP-3C Orion provided a flypast to
mark the special occasion.
RAAF Base Darwin was originally
granted the Freedom of the City to
mark the association of the base with
the city since its establishment.
WGCDR Graham said a "freedom"
shows the pride the community has in
its long association with the RAAF.
"It is a sign of trust and respect by
local authorities and when we exer-
cise it, it demonstrates the close rela-
tionship we have with community,"
"We don't want to lose the impact
so we don't exercise the right too often
but the participants really appreciate
the community's acknowledgment and
show of support. It really makes the
base feel welcome in the city. RAAF
Base Darwin has been going strong in
the heart of Darwin now since 1940."
As well as the Freedom of Entry,
many base personnel were involved in
other parades during the week.
"So it was pretty unusual to see
so much drill on such a busy base,"
WGCDR Graham said.
"But the main event went off with-
out a hitch."
PARADING: The Air Force Band
supports RAAF Base Darwin as they
exercise their right to Freedom of Entry
to the city of Darwin as a AP-3C Orion
flies over the parade. Photos: LS Jo Dilorenzo
A 92WG AP-3C Orion is participat-
ing in the first major joint amphibi-
ous exercise for the year, Exercise
Sea Lion, which began in northern
Queensland on June 10 and will finish
on June 28. The exercise is a part of
the ADF's enhanced amphibious capa-
bility development as the transition
to operations with the Canberra-class
Landing Helicopter Dock continues.
Joining the Orion crew on the exer-
cise is HMAS Choules, two Landing
Craft Heavy, an Army Multi-Role
Helicopter and Amphibious Ready
Element from Townsville.
INDONESIAN Air Force Chief Of Staff
Air Chief Marshal Ida Bagus Putu
Dunia visited Australia from May
28-30. He met with CAF AIRMSHL
Geoff Brown in Canberra and visited
RAAF Base Richmond to talk with var-
ious units as part of the Indonesian
acquisition of retired RAAF C-130H
aircraft and RAAF Base Williamtown
to meet with Commander Air Combat
Group AIRCDRE Anthony Grady.
EXPERTS from DMO's Land
Engineering Agency will spend the
second half of this year testing new
protected mobility vehicles in Victoria.
The last of the six Hawkei prototypes
developed by Thales Australia have
been delivered to DMO. The vehicles
are a contender for Project Land
121 Phase 4, a $1.5 billion project
to provide up to 1300 protected and
unprotected light vehicles to replace
about a third of the existing fleet and
complement the G-Wagon.
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