F-111 personnel honoured with memorial dedication
1 December 2011
Members who flew, maintained and supported F-111 operations have been honoured at a dedication service at RAAF Amberley today, exactly one year after the F-111 took to the skies for the last time.
A Personnel Memorial was unveiled at the service, which Officer Commanding 82 Wing Group Captain Geoff Harland dedicated to the men and women who proudly served F-111 operations.
“The memorial was established as a celebration of all those who supported the F-111 during it’s thirty-seven year service, as well as honouring the special memory of those who sadly died providing the F-111 capability in the defence and security of our nation,” Group Captain Harland said.
Group Captain Steve Roberton, former Officer Commanding 82 Wing, said the design of the memorial and the inscription pay tribute to all personnel who supported the F-111 capability.
“The memorial allows for the special remembrance of those deceased, as well as those who are still affected by F-111 operations,” he said.
“We hope the significance of the memorial resonates with current and future generations, and that the sacrifices of those personnel affected are never forgotten.”
The top plaque of the memorial is in the shape of an F-111, with wings swept as it flies upwards toward the skies.
The inscription within the wattle wreath curled around the F-111 reads: “In Honour of those who flew, maintained and supported F111 operations 1973 – 2010.”
The words below on the base stone read: “Dedicated to the men and women who proudly served F-111 operations and to the special memory of those who died providing this capability in the defence and security of our nation.”
The memorial also acknowledges those personnel that suffered, or are still suffering, from effects of F-111 support systems, including Deseal/Reseal.
“The F-111 was an iconic aircraft, which became a central part of the Air Force community, as well as the wider Ipswich and Brisbane communities,” Group Captain Harland said.
“It would be impossible to count all those who have supported F-111 operations over the years, from those who flew and maintained the aircraft, to those who did the hard work to keep the base running smoothly.
“Needless to say, the F-111 affected many people and we hope that this memorial will serve as a focal point, now and into the future, especially in memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice.”
The F-111 Personnel Memorial now stands proudly in the Amberley Memorial Garden at the front of the Base.
The names of those who have lost their lives whilst serving at RAAF Amberley are listed on the Remembrance Wall alongside the Personnel Memorial.
The service was attended by friends and family of those who have served with the F-111 over the last 37 years before its retirement in December 2010.
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