New Air Force Capability at Williamtown

PC-9. (Foto:

July 3, 2009 -- The Royal Australian Air Force today re-formed Number 4 Squadron, to enhance the ADF’s Air/Land coordination capability. The new Squadron will train specialist personnel who can deploy to forward operational areas and coordinate the delivery of air weapons.

Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mark Binskin said the modern battlespace is very complex and there is an increasing need for specialised coordination between air and ground units to achieve effective air combat power.

No. 4 Squadron has been re-formed at RAAF Williamtown to train specialists who can work on the ground alongside Army units, or in the air, to coordinate the delivery of air weapons.

The Air Force specialists are known as Forward Air Controllers (FAC). They complete specialist training including the Joint Terminal Attack Controller course. FACs provide a vital link between the aircraft and the ground troops, providing up to date information on the battle space from a forward position either on the ground or airborne.

Although 4 Squadron was re-formed today, selected Air Force FACs were trained in special tactics throughout last year and have already deployed with Australian forces in Afghanistan.

“Air Force has deployed Forward Air Controllers in operations dating back to Vietnam, but the re-establishment of 4 Squadron and the enhancement of the specialist capability represents the next evolution in integrated air and land operations,” AIRMSHL Binskin said.

“The re-formed 4 Squadron delivers highly skilled and deployable Air Force personnel who will have an essential role in the 21st Century battlespace.”

4 Squadron brings together the former Forward Air Control Development Unit (FACDU) and RAAF’s Special Tactics Project. The new Squadron comprises about 60 personnel based at RAAF Williamtown and will operate 4 PC-9 aircraft.

4 Squadron has a proud history. It was originally formed during WWI and also served in WWII, operating Wirraways and Boomerang Fighters.

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