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News and Reunions!







2 Sqn Anzac Day plans, 2020

3 Sqn end of year get-together

37 Sqn's Hercs turn 20

ADF Retirees Association report into DFRDB

Appy reunion - Brisbane

Caribou back at the gate in Townsville

Fighter Squadrons luncheon dates

Friends of the Caribou reunion

Productivity Commission Report into DVA

RAAF Edinburgh Air-show

RAAF Vietnam lunches

Telstechs and partners reunion

Wagga Apprentice reunion




3 Sqn Association (Qld) End of Year get-together.





If you’re wrong and you shut up, you’re wise.

If you’re right and you shut up, you’re married.







RAAF Edinburgh Airshow.

9, 10 November 2019



RAAF Base Edinburgh will open its gates to the public for an exhilarating, action packed Air Show in November. The two-day event will showcase advances in aviation technology during the 100 years since Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith made their epic flight from England to Australia. (See HERE). The public will have a rare opportunity to see some of the Australian Defence Force’s most advanced military aircraft including the latest fifth generation fighter aircraft, the F-35A Lightning II, and Defence technologies in addition to historic and vintage aircraft.


Crowds can expect to see more than four hours of flying displays on each day with the full range of ADF fast jets, transport and rotary wing aircraft taking part in the Air Show.


The theme of the Edinburgh Air Show is ‘Vimy to Fifth Generation in 100 years’.


Tickets for the Edinburgh Air Show are now available.



  • To see further info on ticket sales click HERE.

  • To see the conditions of entry, click HERE

  • To see the flying program, click HERE

  • To see who is flying into the show click HERE  (There is a HELP button if you get lost)

  • To see how to get there, click HERE




Friends of the Caribou.


If you’ve ever flown, flown in, fixed, serviced or just seen a Caribou, the RTFV-35Sqn Association is holding an event just for you.



The spectacular get together will be held in the Ipswich area, near Amberley, in August 2020.


If you’d like further information, click HERE.




Productivity Commission report into DVA.


The recently released Productivity Commission’s Report into the DVA has raised the ire of many an ESO, (and rightly so), least of which is the Partners of Veterans of Australia.


We think the Commission is in for a bit of a fight here, taking on a bunch of determined ladies is something only a mad-man would contemplate but that is what has occurred.


They recently wrote to the commission and you can read their letter HERE. And there’s THIS.


More strength to their arm we say!




Telstechs and Partners, Reunion.

Penrith RSL


A reunion of Telstechs and their partners will be held at the Penrith RSL on Thursday 28th November and Friday 29th November


Due to the venue, numbers are limited to 120 people, so first in best dressed. If you can make it, register now.  Cut-off date is 22 November. The planned program is as below:



There will be a casual 'Meet and Greet' on the Thursday night at the RSL, from 7:30pm.


We’ll hold a sit-down dinner on the Friday with a guest speaker, informal meeting from 6.15pm for being seated at 7.00pm.  Dress for the dinner - Smart Casual, no shorts, thongs or other unsuitable attire.


The dinner will be a 3 course meal, plus hot finger food from 6:15 to 7:00pm. Please advise any special dietary needs to Neil Hunter (neilh1808@optusnet.com.au)


The cost for Friday’s dinner is $60 per head. The Thursday “Meet and Greet” is on a Pay as you go basis.


Payment: (Cheques, money orders or electronic funds transfer)


By Post.

Mr N.F. Miller

RAAF Telstechs Association

P.O.  Box 4329

Hawker  ACT  2614



BSB No.                           803205

Acct No.                           2060 9660

Acct Name:                      RAAF Telstechs Association

Bank                                 Defence Bank



Please include your name with payment, plus your partner's name as appropriate, so we can make name badges.


Arrangements are still ongoing for a visit to RAAF Glenbrook on the Friday morning - more details will be advised at a later date.



ACCOMODATION (For those that want it)


Quest Hotel (adjacent to Penrith railway station) - also a short walk to the RSL (10 minutes or so).  The Quest have given us a discount rate, you can see it HERE


Any questions, please contact Neil Hunter at neilh1808@optusnet.com.au, or by phone at 03 9369 3575 or 0438 351 536




Ho Chow calls into work and says “Hey, I no come to work today, I really sick. Got headache, stomach ache and legs hurt, I no come work”. The boss says, “You know something Ho Chow, I really need you today. When I feel sick like you do I go to my wife and ask her for sex. That makes everything better and I go to work. You try that.”  Two hours later Ho Chow calls again, “I do what you say and I feel great, I be at work soon……You got nice house!”




Australian Defence Force Retirees Association.

DFRDB Update, July 2019


Most of you will aware that the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s investigation into the administration of the DFRDB scheme with respect to commutation is in progress. But we are not waiting idly for the outcome.


We have continued to pursue the Minister on the narrow terms of reference of the Ombudsman’s investigation and received this Response from the Minister’s Chief of Staff. The key statement in which is:


“There are currently no plans for further investigation into the overall design of the DFRDB Scheme.”


In an Article, The Albury Border Mail - 20 July 2019, there is THIS quote from a spokeswoman from the Minister’s office: 


“The government consulted with the Ex-Service Organizations Roundtable to develop the terms of reference for the ombudsman’s inquiry. The public had the opportunity to provide input, this has now closed and the Ombudsman will consider this information as part of the investigation.”


A blatant cop-out.


On a separate front, Christian Bennett had been investigating and established from the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) that the DFRDB scheme is in fact a Trust with the following trustee structure:

  • A Commonwealth entity created by legislation in 2011.

  • Corporate Governance is provided by CSC Board.

  • Directors are nominated by stakeholders, i.e.;

    *    The Minister of Finance, who nominates the Chair person and 5 Directors,

  • The President of Australian Council of Trade Unions, who nominates 3 Directors and

  • The Chief of Deference Force who nominates 2 Directors. Directors can serve multiple terms and tenure is limited to 9 years.

This is a matter of serious concern, because making the CSC and the Department of Finance responsible for protecting DFRDB members’ interests is akin to putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank.


This and the Terms of Reference for a wider reaching inquiry will be raised by Kel Ryan, National President, Defence Force Welfare Association, at an upcoming meeting with the Hon Darren Chester, Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel.


We intend to keep you informed of developments on the DFRDB front. You will realise there is a level of confusion within Minister Chester's department and we don't know who to believe. Three different opinions of what is going on, I will leave it up to each of you to draw your own conclusions. I have asked the Minister for a retraction of the misleading comments in the Border Mail article, should I ever receive one it will be distributed.


The National President of DFWA, Kel Ryan will be meeting with Minister Chester within the next couple of weeks and hopefully we will circulate another Update then. Let there be no doubt we are being heard.


We will be circulating to ESO's a very well researched document on some legal aspects of our claims, should any individual require a copy please contact me. The paper is 15 pages of very interesting research.


More details when we have mapped out our strategy.




DFRDB Update - September 2019


Our apologies for not issuing an Update last month. We were waiting for an Update from the Commonwealth Ombudsman which did not emerge. However, as some of you may already be aware, the Ombudsman has now posted an Update on his web site.


On 25 July 2019, the President of the Defence Force Welfare Association issued a Report of Meeting with Minister for Veterans Affairs and Ombudsman, (click HERE to read it). In his report, Kel Ryan (right) intimates that an incorporated ADSO should be the single point of contact between ex-service organizations and the Minister on all ex-service concerns.


Click HERE to read our reply to this.


As is apparent from our reply, we are not happy with the position we have been placed in by ADSO’s collaboration on DFRDB with the Minister at the Ex-Service Organisation Round Table (ESORT) and we will make those views known to our representatives in the Parliament. The charter for ESORT does not include Military Superannuation and, in fact, it is more akin to workers compensation and war graves, both being very worthy objectives. We believe there must be a dedicated representative group to take Military Superannuation issues to the Minister.


Recently Herb and I attended Christian Bennett’s funeral in Canberra. Christian who became involved with our cause only within the past year, was a champion of the underdog. His insight into both DFRDB and DVA concerns, his passion and sheer effort on behalf of his fellow ex-service men and women should not be underestimated or forgotten.


Throughout Chris’s life he lived by two guiding principles;

  • “Maintain the Passion” and

  • “When you’re right you’ve got to fight”.

We will keep these principles firmly in our minds.


At the funeral, we were fortunate to meet Christian’s legal mentor, Alan Anforth, (right) a leading Barrister who has already advocated on behalf of a number of ex-service members. Alan expressed a willingness to help us with our cause. He warned us to not expect too much from the Ombudsman’s ‘own motion’ inquiry. His advice is that we should mount a test case through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, however, the grounds for a challenge must be clearly thought through and we must avoid the grounds on which past challenges have failed.


While we could initiate an action on relatively short notice, we are obliged to await the outcome of the Ombudsman’s investigation.


So, at this point it is ‘hurry up and wait’.


Finally, we are considering incorporating the ADFRA to ensure our personal assets are not exposed as a result of any legal action. With the exception of web site development, Herb and I have so far met all costs associated with the conduct of this campaign. We are not seeking any reimbursement, however, if we find the need to incorporate we may have to seek a small donation of say $2 from each registered member to cover the cost of incorporation and the photocopying, travel etc. that will be required to mount an AAT case.


Please continue to distribute our Updates as far and wide as possible because we are still only reaching a relatively small proportion of all DFRDB members.


Remember Chris Bennett’s motto.



Jim and Herb




The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs

and have fun finding them.




Wagga Apprentice Reunion.


Friday. 23 April 2021 to Monday. 26 April 2021


The 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Australian Air Force is on the 31 March 2021, therefore the Wagga Reunion committee has decided to hold an Apprentice Reunion in Wagga on the above dates in April 2021.



Proposed Program


Friday 23 April, 2021

Informal gathering at The Range Function Centre, 306 Copland St. Wagga

Saturday 24 April 2021

Temora Aviation Museum, Temora Airport (being ANZAC weekend and the 100th Anniversary, the Saturday should be a flying day, (o be confirmed)

Evening for individual Intakes to hold private gatherings

Sunday 25 April 2021

Dawn Services at RAAF Wagga, Kapooka and Victory Memorial Gardens.

ANZAC Day March through Wagga, step off at 10.30am followed by service in the Victory Memorial Gardens.

Monday. 26 April 2021

Sit down evening function at The Range Function Centre. 306 Copland St, Wagga.


As the Budget has not been finalised a costing cannot be prepared at this time. Registrations will be sought closer to the events. Please pass on to any other former RAAF Apprentice who may be interested




Appie Reunion – Brisbane


The 2020 Reunion of RAAF Ex-Apprentices will be held at the Transcontinental Hotel, on the corner of George and Roma Sts, Brisbane, on Saturday the 22nd February.




Airspeed, altitude or brains.

Two of these are always needed to successfully complete a flight.




37 Sqn’s Hercs turn 20.


In September 1999, the first of 12 C-130J Hercules aircraft, flown by 37 Squadron at Richmond, was delivered to Australia. The fleet has since amassed 137,000 flying hours. The J model replaced the E model which flew with 37 Sqn for 37 years until the last one, A97-160 landed at Point Cook in September 2000 and is now on permanent display.


The J model is the fourth Hercules model flown by the Air Force.


Back in December, 1958, the first of 12 A model Hercs arrived at 36 Squadron at Richmond, the last delivered in March 1959. They replaced the ageing Dakotas operated by the Squadron until that time and the RAAF was the first Air Force in the world to fly the C-130 outside of the USA. In 1965, 12 more Hercules, this time the C-130E model, were ordered to increase the RAAF's lifting capacity, commensurate with its operations in the Vietnam War. These C-130Es were delivered to the re-formed 37 Squadron at Richmond, between August 1966 and January 1967.


36 Squadron's C-130As were replaced by C-130H aircraft in 1978. These aircraft arrived in Australia between July and October 1978. They were, at the time, amongst the most capable tactical transport aircraft in the world due to a series of upgrades and modifications. The ‘H’ provided a valuable combination of medium to long-range transport with an excellent short dirt runway capability. Its primary role was the movement of personnel and equipment within a combat zone, known as tactical transport. This included special forces insertion, parachuting (both static-line and free-fall) and the airdrop of equipment. A variety of equipment could be airdropped, ranging from 4WD vehicles to inflatable boats and artillery pieces.


In 2006, 36Sqn handed its C130H aircraft to 37Sqn, moved to Amberley and began receiving its Boeing C-17 jet aircraft. The last C-130H model was discharged on the 30th November, 2012.


The J model delivered to the RAAF is 15 feet longer than the E model it replaces and is the most comprehensive update of the Hercules aircraft to date with a new two-crew flight compartment and turbo-prop engines that drive six-blade propellers.  The ‘J’ is highly automated and contains state-of-the-art avionics technology. The flight-deck features two head-up displays (HUDs), four large multi-function displays, five monochrome displays and fighter-style controls on the control columns. The glass-cockpit technology also includes an automatic flight control system, auto-throttle, head-down display, traffic collision avoidance system, ground-collision-avoidance system and a stick-pusher to prevent inadvertent aircraft stall. Integrated navigation equipment provides the pilots with an automatic navigation solution from the inertial navigation system and global positioning system, as well as regular ground-based navigation aids. All automation has multiple levels of redundancy for the tactical environment. The aircraft is night-vision goggle compatible and is fitted for, but not with, electronic counter-measure equipment. At least one aircraft has been continuously deployed to the Middle East region since June 2008.


This increase in automated control has allowed the minimum crew to be reduced from five in the C-130H to just three (two pilots and a loadmaster) in the C-130J, removing the requirement for a Flight Engineer and Navigator. It can seat 120 passengers, or 92 ground troops, or 64 paratroopers, or 74 stretcher patients and two medical attendants. It can also carry two extra cargo pallets – an increase of nearly 30% in cargo carrying capability. Chains and tie-downs for cargo, and passenger seating platforms, are stowed integral to the cargo compartment to allow last-minute changes to tasking and loads


To celebrate 20 years of service with the Air Force (RAAF), a formation of C-130J aircraft flew over Sydney and the Western Suburbs on Friday, 6 September 2019. They were joined by a United States Air Force MC-130J capturing video of the flight.


The crews of five No 37 Squadron C-130J Hercules which flew in formation to celebrate 20 years of C-130J operations in Australia.


In recent years, the fleet has been upgraded with satellite communications, self-protection systems, and battlespace awareness. The capability of the C-130J fleet has grown significantly, with future upgrades to include high-bandwidth satellite communications being installed on six aircraft.


Click the pic below to see video of the aircraft in formation.






RAAF Vietnam Lunching.


Spotted at the Jade Buddha in the city (Brisbane) were a bunch of people who get together regularly on the second Thursday of each month to enjoy each other’s company, to enjoy the wonderful position on the Brisbane River, to enjoy a great lunch together and to talk of other times.


If you would like to join this impromptu group, email John “Sambo” Sambrooks and he’ll send you an email reminder. It’s free to join and you pay as you go.


L-R:  Sue Trimmer,  Tuyet Van,  Trev Benneworth,  John “Sambo” Sambrooks,  “Rotus” Adams,  Thien Khuong,  John McDougall (standing),  Rob Stirling,  Diamond Dang,  Thai Dang,  Peter Johnson.




I remember when sex was safe and flying was dangerous.




Caribou A4-199.



Caribou A4-199 has been repainted and is back on display at the entrance to the base in Townsville.



It has been painted in a scheme reflecting the DHS delivery scheme with the addition of an orange Wallaby on the tail to reflect 35 Squadron’s long service at Townsville. A4-199 did not serve in Vietnam but was allocated to 35 SQN at Richmond from 1972 till 1975 and then from the late 80’s onwards was allocated to 35 SQN at different times as aircraft went back to 38 Sqn for major servicings. A4-199 was painted white in 1975 for UN duties and was allocated to UNMOGIP in India and Pakistan on 3 occasions.




2 Sqn - ANZAC Day 2020 – Brisbane.


It may seem premature to be raising the above subject at this early time, however this is an early notification to all members that planning is underway by a group of ex USAF members who were based at Phan Rang to join us on ANZAC Day 2020.


To date over 70 starters (including wives) have given an indication that they would like to travel to join us here in Australia and permission has been given by the ANZAC Day Planning Committee in Brisbane for this group to join with the 2 Squadron Association contingent for the march. They will then join us for the usual post march fellowship.


Whilst we recognize that these days there may be barriers such as health, we encourage those who can to make plans and join us for what no doubt will be a one-off occasion to show our American colleagues good old Aussie hospitality.


As the plans materialize, we will keep our members informed.




You don't stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing




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