Show of drones connects community

The return of the Hawkesbury Show allowed RAAF Base Richmond personnel to connect with the public in Air Force’s centenary year, and drones were a feature of the display.

CAPTION: Leading Aircraftman Nathan Thompson of the Air Force Drone Racing Team gives Hawkesbury Show visitor Pranav a closer look at a racing drone. Story by Eamon Hamilton. Photo by Corporal David Said.

After being cancelled last year due to COVID-19, the show this year was held from April 23-25, with about 70,000 in attendance.

The Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association was established in 1879, and the show has been held at sites neighbouring RAAF Base Richmond since the base’s establishment in June 1925.

Senior Australian Defence Force Officer for RAAF Base Richmond Air Commodore Newman said the ADF Drone Racing Association display was a welcome addition to the RAAF Base Richmond stand.

“While the drones weren’t being flown for the public at the show, they attracted significant interest, particularly as the team showcased commercially available examples,” Air Commodore Newman said.

“This sparked engagement at the show about how Defence uses unmanned aircraft systems, how drones can support STEM education, and the public’s use of drones around RAAF Base Richmond.

CAPTION: Flight Sergeant Cameron Ruhl of Headquarters Air Mobility Group gives Deputy Captain Larry Lane of the NSW Rural Fire Service a rundown on an Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engine from a C-130J Hercules during the Hawkesbury Show. Photo by Corporal David Said.

Air Commodore Newman said the show was one of the base’s primary opportunities to engage with the local community.

“The Hawkesbury is a fantastic community for RAAF Base Richmond and is greatly supportive of our work,” Air Commodore Newman said.

“Due to COVID-19 restrictions and our own operational tempo, we are unable to host any similarly large-scale base events for the Air Force centenary.

“The Hawkesbury Show allowed the base to showcase our capabilities to the community, highlighting the service Air Force has provided the nation over our last century, and how we are positioning ourselves to meet Australia’s air and space power needs into the future.”

RAAF Base Richmond’s display also featured a fire truck from No. 22 Squadron, a turboprop engine from a C-130J Hercules, and airdrop loads from Air Mobility Training and Development Unit.

“The precinct’s theme was ‘Community Resilience’, which was appropriate considering how this community has been affected by floods and bushfires over the past 18 months.

“RAAF Base Richmond has and remains ready to provide support following disasters to international and domestic communities.

CAPTION: No. 22 Squadron firefighter Leading Aircraftwoman Haley Jamsek lets Logan, Lachlan and their mum Kylie try out firefighting nozzles during the Hawkesbury Show. Photo by Corporal David Said.

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