One of the last F/A-18 A/B Classic Hornet aircraft to grace the skies over the Northern Territory will be a distinctive magpie Hornet.
CAPTION: No. 75 Squadron F/A-18A Hornet A21-018 sports a bold black-and-white commemorative livery ahead of the squadron’s transition to the F-35A Lightning II in 2022. Story by Flight Sergeant Josa Kohler. Photo by Sergeant Ben Dempster.
F/A-18A Hornet A21-018 now sports a bold black-and-white livery, the last commemorative paint scheme that Boeing Defence Australia will apply to a Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18A/B Hornet ahead of No. 75 Squadron’s transition to the F-35A Lightning II next year.
The paint scheme depicts the centerpiece of No. 75 Squadron’s crest, the magpie.
Reflecting on what it meant to be a member of No. 75 Squadron, Warrant Officer Graham Docking, the unit’s warrant officer engineering, said it provided a sense of importance and feeling involved in “something bigger than yourself”.
“It’s about a sense of purpose and creating experiences and memories that will last a lifetime,” Warrant Officer Docking said.
“When you’re posted to 75 Squadron, it’s not about being in just another squadron; you’re a magpie.”
The squadron adopted the magpie as it is a belligerent defendant of its young with the courage to attack, symbolic of the squadron’s wartime activities since World War II, and it embodies the squadron’s motto which is to Seek and Strike.
“The aircraft has been painted predominately black; with flecks of white on its wings and tail and a pronounced white patch on the back of its neck,” Warrant Officer Docking said.
“It’s bold and when you look at it; you know it is a No. 75 Squadron aircraft.