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NO. 1 SQUADRON
 

No. 1 Squadron

 

The F-111 is operated by No 82 Wing at RAAF Base Amberley and is a part of the Air Combat Group that operates a mix of F-111, F/A-18 and Hawk fast jet aircraft.

The non-operational aircraft are maintained in storage at Amberley and are cycled through the operational fleet when required to ensure there is enough airframe hours available to meet the planned withdrawal date of at least 2010.

The operational fleet is divided between No 1 and No 6 Squadrons, both located at RAAF Amberley.

Brief History of No. 1 Squadron

Following a request from the British Government in September 1915, Australia formed its own independent aviation force. The Australian Flying Corps. The AFC was an Army formation and part of the 1AIF. On 1 January 1916, Lieutenant Colonel E.H. Reynolds was posted as Commanding Officer of No. 1 Squadron of the AFC.

In 1921 the Royal Australian Air Force was formed and No. 1 Squadron of the RAAF inherited the proud traditions and the heritage from No. 1 Squadron of the AFC.

When war broke out in September 1939, No. 1 Squadron carried out patrols searching for the German ships “Lahn” and “Strassfort” off the Victorian Coast. Ansons were replaced with the arrival of the first Lockheed Hudsons in early 1940.

On December 1940, a newly acquired Hudson of No. 1 Squadron was the first allied aircraft to spot the Japanese invasion fleet heading for northern Malaysia. Subsequently No. 1 Squadron was tasked to strike the first blows against Japan. Heavy losses of aircraft on the ground forced the withdrawal of No. 1 Squadron to Sumantra in 1942, from where reconnaissance and bombing sorties were mounted.

In 1968 No. 1 Squadron personnel departed for the USA to convert onto the Canberra’s replacement, the F-111C swing-wing fighter-bomber. Technical difficulties delayed delivery of the F-111C and so the F4E Phantom was obtained as an interim replacement.

No. 1 Squadron has been operating the F-111C since 1973 in the low-level strike role, simulating attacks on land and maritime targets. Exercises have been conducted throughout Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, the Philippines and the United States.

Future projects for the aircraft include an updated Electronic Warfare Suite, the ACM-142 Standoff missile, and the latest version of the Harpoon Anti-Ship missile.

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