608 Squadron AAFC enters Gawler

Exercising Freedom of Entry

On Sunday 4 December, No 608 Squadron AAFC entered the Town of Gawler in South Australia – exercising its Right of Entry to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Australian Air Force Cadets.

CAPTION: Chief Inspector Alby Quinn, Officer in Charge of the SAPOL Barossa Local Service Area challenges Cadet Under Officer Aaron Musk, while Scroll Bearer, Cadet Corporal Casey Dibben, Banner Escort, Cadet Flight Sergeant Jake Dippy; Banner Bearer, Cadet Under Officer Hayden Skiparis; Banner Warrant Officer Cadet Flight Sergeant Benjamin Kurtz; Banner Escort, Cadet Corporal Andrew Paxton and the rest of 608 Sqn AAFC watch on, before being allowed Freedom of Entry to the City of Gawler. Story and photos by Pilot Officer (AAFC) Paul Rosenzweig.

The Squadron conducted a ceremonial parade in the main street of Gawler “with swords drawn, drums beating, bands playing and banners flying”, and with a South Australian Police escort.

The Host Officer was the Squadron’s Commanding Officer Flight Lieutenant (AAFC) Lee Murphy, and the Reviewing Officer was the Mayor of Gawler Karen Redman.

The Parade Commander was Cadet Under Officer Aaron Musk, and the Banner Party Commander (Banner Bearer) was Cadet Under Officer Hayden Skiparis.

No 608 Squadron, Australian Air Force Cadets – known as the ‘Town of Gawler’ Squadron – primarily draws its cadets from the Willaston-Gawler region north of Adelaide, although some come from a bit further afield.

Flight Lieutenant (AAFC) Murphy said the squadron had a proud heritage, with origins in No. 86 Squadron RAAF, a fighter squadron that was formed at Gawler on 4 March 1943 for war service.

“After World War 2, its heritage was taken up by ‘Number 8 Flight’ of the South Australian Squadron of the Air Training Corps for 50 years from 1951 to 2001”, he said.

Some of the members of 608 Squadron after the parade, including: the Scroll Bearer, Cadet Corporal Casey Dibben (holding the frame), Parade Commander, Cadet Under Officer Aaron Musk (holding the sword), and Banner Bearer, Cadet Under Officer Hayden Skiparis (partially obscured, holding the banner).
Some members of 608 Squadron after their Freedom of Entry parade, including; Scroll Bearer Cadet Corporal Casey Dibben, Parade Commander Cadet Under Officer Aaron Musk and Banner Bearer Cadet Under Officer Hayden Skiparis.

“A large number ‘8’ formed by floor tiles can still be seen today in the entrance foyer to the Squadron’s headquarters.

“The unit was then known as ‘No 608 Squadron’ of the Australian Air Force Cadets from 2001 to 2011, adopting the ‘6’ prefix common to all squadrons of No 6 Wing AAFC.”

The Squadron has been known as No 608 (Town of Gawler) Squadron since 2011 when it was granted Freedom of Entry to the City of Gawler – exactly five years ago on 4 December 2011.

Flight Lieutenant (AAFC) Murphy said the awarding of the Right to the Freedom of Entry to the town and its accompanying scroll ranked as the highest public honour that can be bestowed upon a unit.

“As such, the document and the rights attached to the process are highly cherished and protected”, Flight Lieutenant Murphy said.

The significance of this honour can be seen in the fact that only three AAFC squadrons in South Australia have been granted a Freedom of Entry, plus No 6 Wing itself (granted the Freedom of Entry to the City of Adelaide in 2003).

Pilot Officer (AAFC) Paul Rosenzweig, 6 Wing Public Affairs Officer, said the opportunity to exercise this right of entry in the AAFC’s 75th anniversary year was a very proud moment in the life of 608 Squadron.

This event also marked the 65th anniversary of the original creation of ‘No 8 Flight’ of the Air Training Corps in 1951.

[click images to enlarge]

Banner Warrant Officer Cadet Flight Sergeant Benjamin Kurtz uncases the banner of No 608 (Town of Gawler) Squadron.
Banner Warrant Officer Cadet Flight Sergeant Benjamin Kurtz uncases the banner of No 608 (Town of Gawler) Squadron.
Parade Commander Cadet Under Officer Aaron Musk, Scroll Bearer Cadet Corporal Casey Dibben and Banner Bearer Cadet Under Officer Hayden Skiparis.
Parade Commander Cadet Under Officer Aaron Musk, Scroll Bearer Cadet Corporal Casey Dibben and Banner Bearer Cadet Under Officer Hayden Skiparis.

 

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

One thought on “608 Squadron AAFC enters Gawler

  • 10/12/2016 at 9:01 pm
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    The Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) is a youth oriented organisation which operates in a military and aviation environment. For recruitment enquiries in South Australia pls contact:
    paco.6wg (at) aafc.org.au

    Reply

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