60th Anniversary RMAF-RAAF Relations

BUTTERWORTH: 60th Anniversary RMAF-RAAF Relations. RMAF and RAAF jointly held a parade at the Butterworth airbase here today to mark the 60th anniversary of the latter’s operation in Malaysia.

Personnel from both RMAF (146) and RAAF (21) took part in the parade which were inspected by Gen Affendi Buang and Air Marshal Leo Davies, the respective chiefs of both air forces.

Gen. Affendi (blue beret) and AM Leo Davies (partially hidden, cap) inspecting the parade contingent.

Affendi was a former CO of the airbase in the early 2000s while Davies, an F-111 pilot was also stationed at Butterworth in the 1980s.

RAAF and RMAF personnel marching together during the parade. Bahasa Malaysia was used to command the parade.

Scores of serving and former RMAF and RAAF personnel who operated at Butterworth in the past also attended the event.

A photo of the parade together with the commanders of both air force with the aircraft on static. Pool

Three RMAF aircraft – a F/A-18D Hornet, a Nuri and an EC725 and a single C-17 Globemaster from RAAF were on static display. Two Hawk 208s from 15 Sqdn and an AP-3C from RAAF 92 which periodically operates from Butterworth as part of Operation Gateway conducted a flypast with another Nuri flying over the parade ground carrying the 60th anniversary flag.

Its time to buzz the tower. A RMAF Hawk 208 peel over the airbase after the flypast.

Under Operation Gateway, RAAF conducts maritime surveillance patrols in the north Indian Ocean and South China Sea.

A RAAF AP-3C Orion landing at Butterworth after conducting the flypast.

The airbase is also the headquarters of the the integrated air defense system of the Five Powers Defense Arrangement (FPDA), which groups Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Malaysia and Singapore for defending the latter two

Two RMAF Hawk 208s 04 and 06 getting ready to take off for the flypast.

Although RAAF had operated in Malaysia prior to independence it was in 1958 that the Butterworth airbase came under its operational control. RMAF also became the junior service in the same year. As RMAF was in its infancy, RAAF operated three squadrons out of Butterworth, two fighters (Sabres) and one bomber (Canberra).

A RMAF Hornet and C-17 comes together in this picture

It continue to operate fighters out of Butterworth even though it ceded the operational control of the airbase to RMAF in 1970. Permanent RAAF presence at Butterworth ended in 1988, though under Operation Gateway and its involvement with FPDA and IADS, a number of RAAF and Australian Defence Force continue to be stationed at the airbase until now.

RMAF Nuri carrying the 60th anniversary flag as a drone operated by RMAF PR flies much closet to the photographer than the helicopter itself.

RAAF is continuing to invest in RMAF Butterworth. Its Defence Minister Marise Payne early this week announced funding of $15.3 million to upgrade its facilities there. With the AP-3C being retired and to be replaced by the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patroller this year, the facilities used by the RAAF at the airbase will be uggraded and refurbished.

— Malaysian Defence

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