RAAF Base Townsville open day

Many people who might have wondered what happens behind the gates guarded by the Lockheed P-2 Neptune at the entrance to RAAF Base Townsville got the chance to find out on March 22.

CAPTIONAn Air Force F-35A Lightning II performs a handling display during the RAAF Base Townsville community open day. Story by Flight Lieutenant Imogen Lunny. Photos by Leading Aircraftwoman Taylor Anderson.

Visitors to the community open day, the first for RAAF Base Townsville since 2016, gained an insight into what Royal Australian Air Force and Australian Army personnel do on such bases.

They were able to see a range of military equipment and platforms, including a C-17A Globemaster III, a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport, an F-35A Lightning II, an Army CH-47 Chinook, a deployable air traffic tower, equipment from 65 Squadron and air-force military working dogs.

A highlight of the day was a flypast from two Army CH-47 Chinooks from 5 Aviation Regiment, which calls RAAF Base Townsville home, a flypast over the Strand and an impressive handling display over the base by an F-35A Lightning II.

CAPTIONGuide dog Ikey waits in line to look through an Army CH-47 Chinook.

Commanding Officer 27 Squadron Wing Commander Luke Headley said the ADF members at RAAF Base Townsville could not achieve what they do on a daily basis without the support of the Townsville community.

“RAAF Base Townsville was established in 1940 and has long held a place in the local community’s heart. This event was our way of saying thank you, and giving something back to the great people of North Queensland,” Wing Commander Headley said.

“The community event was also a great opportunity for Air Force and Army to demonstrate what’s on offer in terms of careers in the Australian Defence Force.

“By coming to see the aircraft and equipment that were on display, people will be able to see what they could be doing in the future if they joined the Australian Defence Force.

“Our people are really proud of what we do and we were really keen to talk to the people of Townsville, and show them what we do.”

This was confirmed by local community member and mum to 16-year-old Mitchell, Simone Lowe.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people here, not just supporting the event but really engaging in it. My son, Mitchell, has asked a lot of questions,” she said.

Like many others, Mitchell enjoyed the day and the chance to see behind the scenes at RAAF Base Townsville.

“I want to be a pilot, especially after seeing the F-35A handling display. I’ve had a really good day,” he said.

The Townsville event was the first in a series of RAAF base open days around Australia, thanking the community for their support and showcasing life behind the gates.


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