As part of this year’s Air Force centenary celebrations, RAAF Base Pearce opened its gates the next generation of aviators and those who have served before.

 Australian Air Force Cadets from the more than 16 sub-units from across the Perth metropolitan area that form No. 7 Wing, veterans from the Royal Australian Air Force Association (RAAFA) and the winners of the Albany Scholarship competition attended the base for the June 5 invitational event.

Air Force veteran and RAAFA member Ken Pittman was delighted to be back in familiar surroundings. 

“There have been a few changes to the base and the aircraft over the time since we were last here, but it still feels like home. It has been great to come back out and be a part of this activity,” Mr Pittman said. 

The guests were broken into four groups with the youth and veterans coming together to tour static PC-21 and Hawk 127 displays, participate in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activity with the ‘Paper Pilots’, played with the virtual reality kits and had a ride in the Air Force hot-air balloon.

Base Liaison Officer for Air Force 2021 at RAAF Base Pearce Squadron Leader Mark Levitt said it was amazing to see the groups bonding over their love for aviation.  

“Everyone that came along today, whether retired veterans, cadets just starting out their aviation careers or current members of the Air Force, all learnt something from one another and the experiences on offer,” Squadron Leader Levitt said

“This has definitely been a morning to remember. We have come so far as an Air Force because of the people who have served and after spending time with the cadets today, I'm excited to be a part of the Air Force of the future”.

Members of the Air Force Cadets and Air Force veterans learn the basics of flight with the Paper Pilots during a recent visit to RAAF Base Pearce, which ended with a paper plane flight competition. Photo: Sergeant Gary Dixon