The Royal Australian Air Force’s Number 77 Squadron conducted a flypast over RAAF Base Williamtown today in a ‘double seven’ formation to mark the unit’s 77 years of operations.
CAPTION: F/A-18A Hornets from No.77 Squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown in formation to celebrate the unit’s 77th anniversary. Photo by Corporal Craig Barrett.
The flypast took the 16 F/A-18A Hornets over RAAF Williamtown and well as the Lower Hunter and Port Stephens Council regions.
The aircraft departed the base around 11am and conducted the formation over Nelson Bay, Medowie, Raymond Terrace and Newcastle between 11.20 and 11.40am before returning to base at approximately 11.45am.
Commanding Officer 77 Squadron Wing Commander Jason Easthope said the flying activities played an important role in acknowledging the unit’s proud history, upholding its rich legacy and honouring the sacrifices the squadron has made.
“77SQN is a front-line operational fighter squadron that has supported campaigns in the South Pacific, Korea, Malaysia and most recently in Iraq,” Wing Commander Easthope said.
“We are also nearing the end of an era, where in 18 months, 77 Squadron will cease Hornet operations and transition to the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.
“The Hornet has served Australia well over the years and this commemorative flypast is also part of acknowledging that.”
Wing Commander Easthope thanked the local community for their ongoing support.
The ‘double seven’ formation was also flown in 1955 using the Gloster Meteor aircraft when the Squadron conducted a return-to-Australia tour at the end of the Korean War.