RAAF celebrates centenary flight with Port Hedland community

6 Squadron celebrated a milestone in Port Hedland after retracing the footsteps of aviation pioneers who flew the first circumnavigation route of Australia 100 years ago.

CAPTIONMembers of the public attend an open day as part of Exercise Centenarie Redimus at Port Hedland, WA. Story by Flight Lieutenant Imogen Lunny. Photos by Aircraftman Campbell Latch.

A perfectly timed pupil-free day ensured maximum attendance for the three-hour visit by two Royal Australian Air Force EA-18G Growlers.

Children, parents, community members, local government officials and resource sector executives met with aircrew and support teams attached to Exercise Centenarie Redimus, which marked the centenary of the original flight.

Locals engaged with 6 Squadron personnel and viewed the aircraft on display, while learning more about the reason for their visit.

Commanding Officer 6 Squadron Wing Commander Steven Thornton said the exercise not only provided a chance to commemorate the historic feat, but also offered training and engagement opportunities along the way.

“Exercise Centenarie Redimus provided an opportunity for the Royal Australian Air Force to engage with local communities and aviation enthusiasts throughout Australia, promoting EA-18 Growlers and the Air Combat Group as a career of choice,” he said.

The EA-18G Growlers and supporting C-27J Spartan followed a similar but condensed flight plan across the Australian coastline, exercising agile operations in unfamiliar bases on the way.

On the ground at Port Hedland International Airport, Royal Australian Air Force personnel oversaw refuelling of their aircraft by civilian staff – a vital component of the agile operating construct.

Director Regional Airbase Development West Group Captain Peter Noake said some Port Hedland locals were thrilled to see the fast jets at the airport for the first time.

“They turned out in force for a real treat to see these aircraft up close and engage with our aviators,” he said.

Also supporting the day’s celebrations was the Army’s Pilbara Regiment, as well as Port Hedland officials and local and airport emergency services.

CAPTIONFlight Lieutenant Max speaks with members of the public during the open day.


The above report originally contained zero references to “Royal Australian” or RAAF  – an ‘error’ corrected by CONTACT. See here why we think this matters.







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One thought on “RAAF celebrates centenary flight with Port Hedland community

  • 12/05/2024 at 9:16 am

    Its truly amazing that RAAF guys from the East of Australia were actually able to find Pt Hedland in the West of Australia …….


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