Wallaby Airlines returns to Air Force
13 January 2013
The Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown welcomed the re-establishment of No.35 Squadron today at RAAF Base Richmond.
“The re-establishment of No.35 Squadron will see it prepare for our fleet of ten C-27J Spartan Battlefield Airlift aircraft, due to arrive in Australia from 2015,” Air Marshal Brown said.
“No.35 Squadron has provided combat airlift for Australia in several conflicts, and the C-27J is ideally suited to continue this legacy of support for personnel deployed on combat, peacekeeping, or disaster relief operations,” Air Marshal Brown said.
No.35 Squadron will be re-established under the command of Wing Commander Brad Clarke with 25 personnel but will grow to approximately 250 members after the first C-27Js arrive in 2015.
“Our first tasks are to work with the Battlefield Airlift Transition Office to map the required workforce structure, operating procedures and introduction plan for the C-27J Spartan,” Wing Commander Clarke said.
“No.35 Squadron will send the first aircrew and maintenance personnel to train on the C-27J in the United States in 2014.”
“Once in service, our C-27Js will greatly increase the number of airfields Defence can operate in to, increase the level of fixed wing support available on the battlefield, and synchronise with the existing C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster fleet,” Wing Commander Clarke said.
No.35 Squadron was first established in Western Australia in March 1942 and provided air transport around Australia and in New Guinea until its disestablishment in June 1946.
In July 1964, the RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam was formed with the DHC-4 Caribou transport to provide combat airlift throughout the conflict in that country. It was coined Wallaby Airlines after its callsign ‘Wallaby’, and re-formed as No.35 Squadron in June 1966. Throughout the war Wallaby Airlines carried about 677,000 passengers and 36 million kilograms of freight, without a single fatality.
On return to Australia in 1972, No.35 Squadron was based at RAAF Base Richmond before relocating to RAAF Base Townsville in 1974, where it remained until its disestablishment in 2000.
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