TIndal RAAF Base personnel are seeking to inspire regional communities as the base prepares for what will be year of commemorations across Australia in 2021.
One of the oldest Air Forces in the world, the Royal Australian Air Force next year marks its 100th anniversary.
Tindal is one of the nation's newest air bases, but is being upgraded to be one of the most important to Australia's defence strategy.
Wing Commander Tim Ferrell, senior Australian Defence Force Officer at Tindal, hosted a Katherine region Community Leader information session last month.
"The aim of this session was to provide the leaders of the Katherine Region community an overview of the Air Force Centenary and what Air Force has planned for RAAF Base Tindal, Katherine, and the surrounding region throughout 2021," Wing Commander Ferrell said.
"Defence is keen to understand how it can share the Air Force's Centenary next year by engaging with Katherine and our outlying communities."
The Air Force Centenary will include events and activities at the national, regional, and base levels in line with the overarching Air Force Centenary program theme: 'Then. Now. Always'.
Air Force Centenary events will focus on recognising the role of the Permanent Air Force, Reservists, and Australian Public Service employed within Defence by honouring our people and our past.
Air Force Centenary events will highlight the spectrum of air and space power capabilities in today's Air Force, and Air Force's contributions to the Australian Defence Force's Joint Force effects more broadly as part of One Team, One Defence
2021 is also the 80th anniversary of the formation of the Australian Air Force Cadets. It's hoped the various events and activities around the country will inspire young Australians to consider a career in Air Force, Defence, or aviation industry.
Tindal itself celebrated its 30th birthday in October 2018.
Tindal was initially built by the US Army's 43rd Engineer General Service Regiment as Carson's Airfield in 1942.
The airfield was to provide a base for Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bombers which could hit Japanese targets in Papua New Guinea and the Dutch East Indies.
A year after the war, in 1946, the airfield was renamed in honour of Wing Commander Archie Tindal, who was the first RAAF member killed in action on the Australian mainland during World War Two.
He bravely died while manning a machine gun against the Japanese onslaught during the bombing of Darwin on February 19, 1942, and was buried at the Adelaide River war cemetery.
Today it is undergoing a billion-dollar upgrade to prepare for the arrival of the Fifth Generation Joint Strike Fighters in the next few years.
The base is also being upgraded to host more US military assets.
During a visit in July, Prime Minister Scott Morrison described Tindal as key to the nation's defence strategy and the "point of the spear".
Wing Commander Ferrell said during the centennial year, it's important Tindal acknowledge the proud heritage of Australia's First Peoples as guardians of country, its land, seas, and skies.
"We are committed to work with Australia's First Peoples to honour and celebrate the richness and diversity of the world's oldest living culture," he said.
"Together we are proud Australians carrying on with the shared responsibility and privilege of protecting our country and its skies, and the Air Force 'Our Place, Our Skies Strategy 2019-2028' will feature throughout 2021.
"The members and families of RAAF Base Tindal look forward to sharing this historic event with the people of the Greater Katherine Region.
"Keep your eyes skyward, you may see something exciting. 'Then. Now. Always.'"
For further information on the commemoration of the Royal Australian Air Force's formation in March 1921, visit www.airforce.gov.au/100.
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