Personnel who flew, maintained and supported Australia’s long serving F-111 fighters have been honoured at a ceremony marking the one year anniversary of the last flight of the iconic jet.
A memorial to service members who were part of the program was unveiled today at RAAF Amberly as part of the ceremony.
“Needless to say, the F-111 affected many people and we hope that this memorial will serve as a focal point, now and into the future, especially in memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice,” RAAF Captain Geoff Harland, commander of 82 Wing Group, said.
The memorial includes an acknowledgement of maintenance workers who suffered long term health effects after being exposed to toxic chemicals during the “deseal-reseal” of the aircraft’s fuel tanks.
Many fans of the F-111, which entered Australian service in 1973, were upset late last month when it was revealed that Defence had dumped 23 of the decommissioned fighters in a landfill near Ipswich. Defence said it had placed as many of the retired jets as it could in museums and other institutions before disposing of the rest, which are governed by strict rules under the US Foreign Military Sales program.