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July 18, 2013
Cadets get their wings
FLTLT Sean Watson
AUSTRALIAN Air Force Cadets
(AAFC) can now proudly wear new
proficiency badges and wings, designed
specifically for them.
The new badges began being dis-
tributed last month to more than 2000
AAFC and staff eligible to wear them.
AAFC National Commander
GPCAPT (AAFC) Ken Given said the
Proficiency Badge was new, while the
Pilot Wings were an update to an exist-
"Both badges will provide standard-
ised recognition towards the proficien-
cies and qualifications achieved by our
cadets and instructors," he said.
The badges were designed on behalf
of the AAFC by Air Force Cadet Branch
Logistics Officer, WOFF Michael Papa.
"The AAFC Proficiency Badge
resembles the Air Force Operational
Readiness Badge -- featuring an out-
stretched Wedge-tailed Eagle surrounded
by a circular disk with 'Australian Air
Force Cadets' embossed around it," he
"The badge will recognise those
cadets and instructors who achieve a
designated number of AAFC proficien-
The new AAFC Pilots Wings feature
the AAFC national crest superimposed
over upswept dove wings. The wings
were re-designed to prevent confusion
between the old AAFC design and Air
Force badges currently in service.
Examples of both badges have been
presented to CAF AIRMSHL Geoff
"It is very pleasing to see our young
cadets have badges that appropriately
recognise their achievements in the
AAFC," AIRMSHL Brown said.
FLTLT Bettina Mears
ACTING OIC 1 Combat
Communications Squadron (1CCS)
Airfield Systems FSGT Jason
McLaren has implemented cost-
saving initiatives that have saved
Air Force $142,000.
For his commitment to the
initiatives, FSGT McLaren has
been presented with an OC
Since 1965, 1CCS has been
focused on the delivery of efficient
and tactical communications sup-
port to enable airspace control and
FSGT McLaren took the lead on
a costs analysis review to identify
economically viable alternatives.
OC 395 Expeditionary Combat
Support Wing (395ECSW)
GPCAPT Peter Davis said the
review resulted in the development
of sustainable cost saving initiatives
for the squadron and the wing.
Cost-conscious approach pays off
"Since assuming his role as OIC
of 1CCS Airfield Systems capability
in 2012, FSGT McLaren has dis-
played great leadership and
dedication to refining what
we do," GPCAPT Davis said.
"The revised processes have
also assisted in the prevention
of equipment damage."
FSGT McLaren insti-
gated a project to install a
base mains power feed to
the tactical Air Surveillance
Radar site at RAAF Base
Williamtown which negated
the need for costly transport.
He also identified trans-
port savings relating to
the Transportable Air
Operations Tower (TAOT)
acceptance testing at RAAF
Base Tindal, the commu-
nications support require-
ments provided by TAOT for
Exercise Leadfoot at RAAF
Learmonth and for the sup-
port provided at the 2013
Avalon air show.
AWARDED: CO 395ECS WG
GPCAPT Peter Davis presents
FSGT Jason McLaren with an OC
Photo: LACW Jessica de Rouw
NEW BADGES: Air Force Cadets now have proficiency badges
and wings designed specifically for the AAFC.
RAAF Curtin marks 25 years
FLTLT Gavin Briggs
ONE of Australia's two northern bare
bases paused briefly in early June to
acknowledge its first quarter-century.
RAAF Curtin, situated in a remote
area near Derby in Western Australia's
West Kimberley region, was officially
opened in the late 1980s and provides
Air Force with an enhanced capability
to conduct operations from mainland
CO 13SQN WGCDR Robert
Graham attended from RAAF Base
Darwin and joined Air Force caretaker
staff and their families for a morning
tea to celebrate the anniversary.
The facility was named in honour
of Australia's wartime prime minis-
ter John Curtin, who led the nation in
The base was opened on June 11,
1988 by then prime minister Bob
Hawke and hundreds of residents from
across the West Kimberley region
attended the ceremony.
Aleta Lee-James, partner of
base acting caretaker CPL Dennis
O'Connor, was present at the anniver-
"It was a great day. The local com-
munity was very proud to welcome the
RAAF to Derby and continue to be
supportive of the Air Force presence
today," Ms Lee-James said.
The base underwent significant
enhancements during the 1990s and
Responsibility for RAAF Curtin
transferred from 396 Expeditionary
Combat Support Wing to 13SQN on
January 1 this year.
Unit safety adviser and acting care-
taker CPL O'Connor has been working
at the base for the past 18 months, and
said the community provided strong
support to Air Force and its people.
"The local community is quite
interested in the base," he said.
"They have a lot of affection and
enthusiasm for the work we do."
Along with contractor services,
a four-person detachment main-
tains the base and provides airfield
maintenance to a constant state of
The base can be fully opera-
tional within 24 hours. Until
Exercise Pitch Black in 2006,
RAAF Curtin had only been acti-
The airfield is suitable to han-
dle a variety of aircraft, from tac-
tical fighters to civilian airliners.
CURTIN'S OPENING: On June 11, 1988, then prime minister Bob Hawke officially opened RAAF
Curtin near Derby in WA. The bare base has celebrated its 25th anniversary.
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