One of the most decorated squadrons in the Royal Australian Air Force today received another honour.

They’ve already received high praise for their outstanding service in East Timor, but today it was history which was celebrated.

Alexander Atanasov reports.


After two weeks of practice, today it was perfect, no mistakes could be made for such a rare honour.

It’s an honour that’s bestowed only by order of Her Majesty the Queen and her vice regal representative was on hand to oversee today’s auspicious occasion.

For those in the Number Two Airfield Defence Squadron, today’s honour is one that can’t be compared.

Iain Carty, Wing Commander: “It means everything to the squadron, both the men and the women of the squadron. And to have the battle honours on there with the most recent ones, East Timor, it means everything.”

Their 25 years of continuous service is symbolised by the awarding of a flag – a Squadron Standard.

Laid before Her Excellency Quentin Bryce.

The last bare hand to ever touch the Standard will be the hands of God, the air force chaplain’s.

Now only gloved hands will be used to handle the prized Standard.

And of course this morning’s pomp and ceremony will be backed up with more celebrations.

Iain Carty, Wing Commander: “We’ll probably have a couple of toasts, to those gone before us, those still at the unit and of course for the Standard.”

The flag is valued at $25,000 and will now be housed in a secure glass case taking pride of place near it’s squadron at Amberley.

Should it ever need to be removed it will only be done so under close armed escort.

Alexandra Atanasov, QUT News.