day, bright outlook
Commander Air Vice-Marshal John Kindler inspects the members
of the Air Forces newest squadron, No. 278 Squadron,
which was officially welcomed into service with a formation
parade at RAAF Base Williamtown on July 1. Photo by LAC
clouds make a dramatic backdrop as Flight Sergeant Steve
Hoy raises the flag at a traditional formation parade for
No. 278 Squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown. Photo by LAC
DESPITE wet weather at the formation parade to mark the welcome
into service of No. 278 Squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown on July
1, the squadrons future looks bright.
Led by the new squadrons Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader
Paul Mead, the parade made up of 278SQN members from RAAF
bases Amberley, Tindal and Williamtown marched to the beat
of the Air Command Band as a large audience watched. Air Commander
Australia Air Vice-Marshal John Kindler reviewed the parade, accompanied
by host officer Wing Commander Robert Wood, Commanding Officer No.
78 Wing Headquarters.
While the weather prevented a planned fly-past of a Hawk, Hornet
and F-111 in formation, a single F-111 still made an impression
as it flew through the low storm clouds over the parade ground.
Just minutes later the storm broke, relocating the parade to a nearby
AVM Kindler commended the 278SQN personnel on their performance
on parade, despite the weather, before speaking of the squadrons
role in providing technical training and operational flight training
(OFT) support to Air Combat Group (ACG). An official function to
celebrate the new squadron followed in the Aircraft Battle Damage
Repair Training School on the base.
In 2000, 78WG reformed as a dedicated training wing, taking responsibility
for Hawk and Hornet aircrew and technical training, and OFT support.
Later, F-111 technical training was also transferred from 82WG to
A review of the new arrangements, following the creation of ACG
in January 2002, eventually led to the formation of 278SQN.
278SQN Commanding Officer SQNLDR Mead was the 78WG staff officer
responsible for technical training and simulation. A focus group
led by fellow 78WG engineer, Squadron Leader Dave McGovern, involving
SQNLDR Mead and facilitated by the Williamtown Management Services
Agency, recommended that the most effective way to provide Hawk,
Hornet and F-111 technical training and OFT support was to form
a new squadron within 78WG.
SQNLDR Mead said the formation of 278SQN would free 78WG headquarters
from day-to-day management responsibilities, allowing a single focus
on the provision of technical training and support.
Formation of 278SQN will provide the people employed in ACGs
technical training flights and OFTs with clear lines of command
and control and, hopefully, a sense of team unity and esprit de
corps, he said. 278SQN has developed a plan, which addresses
the way we do business, how to provide the best training and OFT
support and, most importantly, how best to provide for the professional
and personal development of each one of our people.
I feel extremely lucky to be appointed CO of 278SQN, and extremely
proud. I admire the people whom I work with and I look forward to
the next couple of years.