The Royal Australian Air Force’s No 37 Squadron celebrated a significant milestone yesterday, recognising 70 years since its formation.
Established on 15 July 1943 at RAAF Base Laverton as an air transport unit, 37SQN flies tactical airlift missions with a fleet of 12 C-130Js from RAAF Base Richmond.
Commanding Officer of 37SQN, Wing Commander Darren Goldie, said the squadron continued to evolve in its support of Defence operations.
“The squadron has undergone significant change recently, especially in view of the retirement of the C-130H Hercules last November,” Goldie said.
“We are now expanding the airlift roles that we perform with the C-130J, which will allow us to continue transporting Defence personnel and cargo to some of the toughest environments on earth.
“It’s an honour to not only lead No 37 Squadron on this anniversary, but also be a part of this transition in to a new era.”
The core business of No 37 Squadron is transporting Defence personnel and cargo, evidenced by its deployment of two C-130Js to the Middle East Area of Operations. The squadron has recorded countless achievements, from providing relief supplies following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake to flying search and rescue missions during the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Its aircraft have brought home Australians injured by the Bali Bombings, transported Jackson Pollock’s painting Blue Poles and carried peacekeepers to Somalia.
To celebrate the anniversary, the squadron hosted reunions of past and present members at RAAF Base Richmond.
During World War 2, 37SQN transported Defence personnel throughout Australia and south-east Asia, including the return of wounded diggers and Australian Prisoners of War. The squadron was disbanded between 1948 and 1966. It was then re-established to provide air transport with the C-130E.