A21-8 when picked up by Wing Commander Bruce Mouatt in 1986 and after personalisation .
3 Squadron Commanding Officer 1991 –
Wing Commander David Peitsch’s aircraft with the 75th Anniversary markings.
My Father Lindsay Ball served in the Royal Australian Air Force for 22 Years and was one of the founding members of 3 Squadron when they received the Mirage 3 in 1967 . I’ve been taking Aircraft photographs for quite a few years now and have been very privileged to see not only the first F/A-18 Hornets that 3 Squadron received in 1986 but also the return of the Squadron and the first F-35s in Australia with the squadron .
Very Early on the morning of December 10 in 2018 I boarded the press bus for our journey onto base and watched as the Commanding Officers of 2 Operational Conversion Unit ( or OCU ) , 75 Squadron and 77 Squadron took off to meet the new fighters and escort the two F-35s to their new home at RAAF Williamtown .
The Formation then flew over many of the local landmarks before returning to base and making several passes , the F/A-18s then landed leaving the F-35s to make a few passes before landing and taxiing to their newly built and secure Hardened Shelters .
Wing Commander Jason Easthope – CO 77 Squadron RAAF .
2 OCU Commanding Officer – Wing Commander Scott Woodland
Commanding Officer of 75 Squadron RAAF – Wing Commander Pete Grant
75 Squadron is based at RAAF Tindal in the Northern Territory .
77 Squadron Executive Officer – SqnLdr Sawley
3 Squadron Commanding Officer – Wing Commander Darren Clare
3 Squadron : A Flight , Flight Commander – Squadron Leader Red Borrman
Wing Commander Darren Clare after his arrival at RAAF Williamtown and engine shut down
Chief of the RAAF – Air Marshall “Leo” Davies smiled and said ” Want to see what makes a Chief of Air Staff Happy ? ” as he pointed over his shoulder at the F-35s
Air Marshall Davies also quoted his predecessor Air Marshall Geoff Brown in saying that ” The Joint Strike Fighter replaces nothing , but changes everything ; it requires a new way of thinking and a new way of operating ” The F-35 is replacing the RAAFs current frontline fighter the F/A-18 Hornet and is a force multiplier .
I wanted to say thank you to SqnLdr Peter Croce and his team for all their help , not only on the day but before and after – true professionals all .