RAAF Base Townsville’s AAFCANS moves into old Sgts Mess

RAAF Base Townsville’s AAFCANS (Army and Air Force Canteen Service) café has a new home: a refurbished World War 2-era building that was once a sergeants’ mess.

CAPTIONRAAF Base Townsville base manager Jacinta Wallace, left, and Acting Senior ADF Officer RAAF Base Townsville Wing Commander Paul Howell at the official opening of the new AAFCANS café in Building 53.

The new café in Building 53 opened in June and is the first of the amenities that will occupy the building.

Acting Senior ADF Officer RAAF Base Townsville Wing Commander Paul Howell said the site would become a focal point for the on-base community during exercise periods and regular operations.

“The refurbishment of the former sergeants’ mess has given the base the opportunity to recognise our heritage while also enjoying the modern facilities and services on offer through AAFCANS,” Wing Commander Howell said.

According to AAFCANS Managing Director Tim Manic, the new café offers an improved menu with healthy choices. Additionally, the air-conditioned dining room features Air Force memorabilia and vintage décor elements that are in keeping with the building’s origin and use.

“Diners can [view] a rare WW2 relic – an engine speed indicator – that was used in the early versions of the RAAF Beaufort Bomber and Avro Anson, and a P2V-7 Neptune turn slip indicator,” Mr Manic said.

The Neptunes issued to 10 Squadron operated out of Townsville as anti-submarine reconnaissance aircraft.

A working Defence-issued AWA Radiotron tube display sits on the coffee table, along with books about Air Force’s history. Multiple seating options and a wireless charging station are also available.

“Our team worked closely with the base to deliver a high-functioning hospitality space that will serve the community well,” Mr Manic said.


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