The Royal Australian Air Force today marks 100 years of service to Australia with commemorative events in Canberra and at Air Force bases across the nation and overseas.
Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, AO, DSC highlighted the evolution from biplanes to an air force characterised by high-tech capabilities that delivers effects not only in the air, but across all domains including space and cyber.
Air Marshal Hupfeld said the current force is a tribute to generations of dedicated men and women and their remarkable ingenuity and resilience.
“In our first 100 years, in conflict, peacekeeping, search and rescue, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, Air Force developed a reputation within our nation and among our global partners for courage, perseverance and overcoming adversity. We consistently deliver air power well above the weight of an air force our size,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.
“More than 350,000 Australians have served in Air Force since 1921 and 11,191 have died in service during that time-we will always remember their service and sacrifice.
“Today, Air Force works with Navy, Army, Defence civilians, other government departments, Defence Industry and our international partners. These relationships have always been important for our success and will be crucial as we face the strategic challenges of an increasingly complex and competitive environment.
“As we commence our second century, it is our duty to preserve our proud legacy and to maintain our enduring commitment to supporting Australia.”
Centenary commemorative events include the presentation of a new Queen’s Colour for the Royal Australian Air Force by the Governor-General His Excellency, General the Honourable David Hurley, AC, DSC (Retired) and a flypast of more than 60 current and historic aircraft over Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra.