Air Force’s Target Intelligence squadron held a small, social-distanced, ceremony for the 10th anniversary of the reformation of No. 460 Squadron (460SQN) on July 2.

The squadron’s proud history is immortalised by the Australian War Memorial’s Lancaster ‘G for George’, a 460SQN veteran of some 90 combat missions over Europe.

Traditionally the unit's anniversary dinner is celebrated under 'G for George', however due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, previous members and veterans were unable to travel to Canberra for the event.

"Although I am disappointed that we had to cancel our unit dinner this year, I feel privileged to be able to mark 10 years of providing Target Intelligence with the current serving members of the unit," 460SQN Commanding Officer Wing Commander Andrew Hoffmann said.

"We maintain very close links with our Veterans and Friends Association, hosting an annual dinner at the Australian War Memorial, participating in Bomber Command commemoration activities and sending a detachment to march with veterans every year in Sydney for Anzac Day.

"While no commemoration activities have been possible this year, we still acknowledge the remarkable achievements of those members, past and present, who have contributed to the unit's proud legacy.

"As part of the 'new normal' under COVID restrictions, the unit has been able to continue its mission by rotating personnel through a shift cycle, with one shift working from Russell Offices while the other shift works from home.

"The resilience and agility that our members have demonstrated throughout this pandemic is indicative of the strong values and adaptive culture that 460SQN has always displayed."

Since its reformation in 2010, 460SQN has played a critical role in numerous operations such as operations Slipper, Okra, Accordion and more recently Operations Bushfire Assist, as well as the COVID-19 Joint Task Force.

The reformed unit works primarily within the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) and is the result of a strategic partnership between Air Force and AGO. 

A unit within the Air Warfare Centre's Information Warfare Directorate, 460SQN combines the mission focus and agility of a tactical unit, with the access and resources of a strategic intelligence agency.

The ceremony included presentation of two annual unit awards to personnel within the squadron: the Veterans and Friends Award for the member who has made the greatest contribution to the unit mission; and the Sir Hughie Edwards VC Award for Leadership, which was awarded to the member who has made the greatest contribution to the unit vision through their leadership. 

The recipient of the Sir Hughie Edwards VC Leadership Award, Sergeant Shelby Powell, said it was a privilege to be associated with 460SQN and its rich heritage. 

"I'm honoured to work with such a smart and motivated team, including the liaison with the Veteran and Friends community," Sergeant Powell said.

"I’ve seen the squadron grow over the many years I've been here and I’m proud to have shaped 460SQN in some way.

"I would like to thank my leadership and peers in supporting me over these years, and I look forward to the next chapter a posting will bring at the end of the year."

Leading Aircraftman Elliott Prince felt proud to be awarded the Veterans and Friends Award on the 10th anniversary. 

"Thank you to my team for enabling and supporting me," Leading Aircraftman Prince said.

"It is a shame we couldn’t catch up with the 460SQN veterans this year, but we hope to catch up with them next year."

Director AGO, Scott Dewar, along with Assistant Secretary Analysis and Production Branch Luke McGowan, attended the ceremony, as well as previous commanding officers Wing Commander Peter Wooding, Group Captain Robert Elliott and Group Captain Nathan Klohs.

Commander Air Warfare Centre Air Commodore Brendan Rogers and Director Information Warfare Directorate Group Captain Pete Mitchell attended the ceremony remotely from RAAF Edinburgh.