21 May 2016 – Up to 5,000 people flocked to RAAF base Richmond in north west Sydney to attend an open day for the charity Kids in Need Foundation. Now in its 2nd year of open days, the event is becoming very popular. RAAF Richmond was part of a wider Sydney region “open day” which included RAN warships, business buildings in Sydney CBD and fire stations.
At Richmond many dedicated volunteers, alongside the ADF personnel, were on hand to let kids and their parents, along with aviation enthusiasts enjoy a day up close to the RAAF base. They inspected some of the flying and ground units that call Richmond home.
On display were 3 static aircraft comprising –
35 Sqn C-27J Spartan light transport A34-002. This relatively new aircraft type has replaced the much loved DHC-4 Caribou on RAAF service as the battlefield transporter role. It looks to many like a mini C-130 Hercules but it is operated in a different manner.
32 sqn Beech Kingair A32-343 trainer with 2 of its aircrew. The King Airs in Townsville and East Sale are used for multi engine training, training ACO aircrew in various systems such as Orions, F/A-18 Hornets and for light transport as required.
A visiting member of the public was able to sit in the front left seat and inspect the King Air’s cockpit out and learn a bit about how it operates.
The 32 Sqn King Airs have student terminals in the back of the aircraft for training roles.
37 Sqn C-130J Hercules A97-467.
Various other displays kept the public interested ranging from 176 Air Despatch, Air Movements operations, RAAF firefighting, RAAF military working dog, aero-medical, airfield engineering ADF recruitment through to civil NSW Police and food stalls.
While attending the display DUAN talked to various aircrew/groundcrew from 32, 35 and 37 Sqn and gained further insights into their roles and how much they enjoy their profession. The aircrew and groundcrews all work together, ensuring their respective platforms are able to perform the tasks required of each squadron. From pilots, loadmasters, airframe fitters, engine technicians through to avionics technicians, there is an array of jobs available for people in the RAAF.
Demonstrating the airlift capability of the RAAF, a flying display was conducted by a 37 Sqn Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules and 36 Sqn Boeing C-17A Globemaster – now operated as the main strategic and sometimes tactical airlifter of the RAAF. The flying displays thrilled the general public as the aircraft flew various display routines such as low level, slow/fast passes, tight turns along with steep
Lockheed Martin C-130 J Hercules flying display
Boeing C-17 Globemaster
The many happy, smiling kids along with their families visibly enjoyed a day out while learning what their ADF does, helped raise much more money for disadvantaged and struggling children of the Kids in Need Foundation.
Speaking to other ADF personnel it is very clear to me they are extremely committed and do their work with much passion, despite what can be for some of them challenging situations, complex tasks and long work hours. Via open days such as this, that the general public can get a better understanding of what the ADF does in protecting Australia and how it responds when tasked with civil emergencies.
At the end of the day, its was good to see some of the RAAF personnel having fun and a bit of humour, as shown by this car park guide using the air movement light sticks to marshall cars out.
If interested in a potential future ADF career, visit www.defencejobs.gov.au for more information.
DUAN appreciates the co-operation from the ADF, its personnel on base and the helpful assistance from the Media Advisors on the day.