|Category: Air support
Defence Squadron RAAF
No 1 Airfield Defence Squadron is responsible for the
ground defence, protection and security of RAAF installations, assets,
facilities and personnel.
of No 1 Airfield Defence Squadron (1AFDS) lie in the Second World War
with the Security Guard Unit (SGU) formed at Livingston Airfield,
Northern Territory on 1 October 1942. On 5 October 1942 all guards at
operational bases, advanced operational bases, radio stations and
non-operational units were posted to this Unit.
(1945 RAAF Airfield Defence
The Unit's role was to centralise
the administration and standardise the training of security guards and
to provide a mobile body of guards that would be available in any
The Unit was responsible for
providing the operational air bases in Australia and in the South
Pacific with trained and competent guards that could defend the bases
against Japanese attacks.
SGU was relocated to Nightcliff on
13 June 1943 and saw operational service during World War 2 in support
of units throughout the South Pacific. Of particular note is services
rendered by Special Task Force
that served under command Z Force, two members of which 1AFDS were
later awarded MBEs.
The unit in August 1943 had a
strength of 5 officers and 1021 airmen. SGU was renamed No 1 Airfield
Defence Squadron on 1 April 1945 but was disbanded on 19 November 1945
following the cessation of hostilities. The musterings that served in
the Squadron were Airfield Defence Officers (ADO), Aerodrome Defence
Instructors (ADI), and Guards.
In 1950 the RAAF Air Board proposed
that No 1 Airfield Defence Squadron should be reformed at RAAF
Mallala, in South Australia, to provide training to National Service
personnel in airfield defence duties. No. 1 Aerodrome Defence Squadron
was subsequently raised at Mallala on 25 June 1951.
The term 'Airfield' was replaced
with 'Aerodrome' by the Air Board in May 1951.
|The Unit conducted National Service
training until its disbandment in March 1953. The reason for the name
change from Airfield to Aerodrome is unclear, however it may be
related to the Aerodrome Defence Instructor mustering at the core of
Airfield Defence Squadron was reformed on 01 July 1992 at RAAF Base
Tindal in the Northern Territory. The Unit was formed to provide the
third phase of Full Time Service (FTS) training to 180 airmen and
officers recruited into the Air Force under the Ready Reserve Scheme
The Unit's role on formation was 'to
assist with the protection of the northern bases in contingencies',
however, on 30 June 1992 the Unit's role was amended to the 'ground
defence, protection and security of RAAF installations, assets,
facilities and personnel'.
||In the period 1992 to
1996 1AFDS assumed responsibility for the Part Time Service (PTS)
training of RRES personnel as well as Full Time Service training.
In 1996 a change in government
policy saw the termination of the RRES scheme and the introduction of
the Ground Defence Reserve Group (GRDefRG), but represented little
change in either the role or organisation of 1AFDS.
In 1998-1999 1AFDS renewed its
relationship with South Australia when it relocated to RAAF Base
Edinburgh, coincidentally only
25km from the site of the now disestablished RAAF Mallala.
|1AFDS officially stood to in the
Unit's new facilities on 1 January 1999. In 1999, with the government
decision to send Australian Military Forces to East Timor (EM), 1AFDS
received an increase in establishment enabling the raising of two
permanent Flights (Rifle and QRF) and a resultant change in unit
structure. The Unit now consists of a Headquarters, two permanent
Flights, two Cadre Flights, a Support Flight and four GRDefRG PTS
Flights one each in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, and
Tasmania. The unit establishment has increased to 248 airmen and
officers including support staff.
|In 1999, 16 Reserve
Airfield Defence Guards from 1AFDS deployed on Operation
Warden/Stabilise (East Timor) under the command of No 2 Airfield
Defence Squadron (2AFDS).
These Airmen have been awarded the
Australian Active Service Medal and wear the Meritorious Unit Citation
with Federation Star as recognition of their service with 2AFDS in
1AFDS in 2002....
|1AFDS is a composite Squadron
consisting of approximately 100 airmen and officers from the Permanent
Air Force and 148 airmen and officers from the Ground Defence Reserve
Group. The Squadron permanent elements are: the Headquarters, Rifle
Flight, Quick Reaction Force Flight, the Support Flight, and two Cadre
Flights. The Reserve elements are four Rifle Flights located in
Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.
|The Squadron provides its parent
Headquarters with a number of flexible response options involving PAF
personnel only, or a mix of PAF and GRDefRG personnel.
Operations in East Timor showed that
ADG Reservists have the training and the temperament to operated
professionally and seamlessly with their PAF counterparts. In fact,
1AFDS Reserve personnel are on the highest degree of readiness within
the ADF after those serving in Reserve Special Forces Units.
||No 1 Airfield Defence
Squadron and its sister squadron, No 3 Airfield Defence Squadron are
unique in that they are the only Air Force units that are truly
composite in nature, combining Permanent Air Force personnel and
Reservists into a single combat-focussed team.
Today, 1AFDS trains with the aim
of being the best at what it does by ensuring that all members of the
Unit have pride in what they do and a clear focus on the task ahead.
All members of 1AFDS, both PAF and Reservist, are key to the future
success of the Unit, and all are an integral part of the RAAF's
ability to project and sustain Air Power in defence of Australia and