Number 65 squadron roars in action at spectacular parade
IT CERTAINLY went off with a bang.
A new Air Force squadron has come into being at an inauguration parade at RAAF Base Amberley, which will be its headquarters, with elements at Townsville, Richmond and Orchard Hills near Sydney.
Number 65 Squadron, part of Combat Support Group (CSG), was established to combine Airfield Engineering and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) to provide a centralised airbase recovery capability.
It was the last time we'll see airfield engineering and explosive ordnance disposal as separate entities as they officially combined as 65 Squadron at the conclusion of the march past.
A C-17 Globemaster cleared out everyone's ears when it performed a flyover half-way through the ceremony.
If that wasn't good enough, as it roared overhead, there was a pyrotechnic explosion behind the C-17.
The parade reviewing officer, Air Commodore Scott Winchester, CSG commander, said the formation of the new squadron was a significant milestone in CSG's transformation to deliver focused combat support at fixed airbases and expeditionary locations, whether in Australia or overseas.
"The numbering of the Airbase Recovery Squadron as 65 Squadron appropriately links the histories of Air Force's Engineering and EOD capabilities, while recognising the current contribution both workforces make to airbase recovery," Air Commodore Winchester said.
The '6' in 65 Squadron refers to 6 Bomb Disposal Squad, the last of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal squads formed in the Second World War.
Similarly, the '5' is in reference to No 5 Airfield Construction Squadron which had an impressive history from the Second World War to 1974, when it was disbanded.
The Commanding Officer of 65 Squadron, Wing Commander Justin Cockroft said he was proud to take over the new squadron.
"We are seeing significant eagerness and pioneering spirit from the incoming workforce to prove the mission of the new squadron," Wing Commander Cockroft said.
"At the same time I am receiving quality input and support to assist us in our endeavours from all quarters of Air Force as well as from the other services.
"As we develop the air base recovery capability we will continue to provide current Airfield Engineering and Explosive Ordnance Disposal services that, in one form or another, these elements have been providing Air Force since WWII.
"I'm extremely proud to be given the privilege to lead the women and men of 65SQN to realise the next evolution of air base support."