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Tuesday, 23 September 1958

Mr OSBORNE (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Air) - I can very well understand my friend's interest in No. 24 City of Adelaide Squadron. It is one of the most enthusiastic and efficient squadrons in the Citizen Air Force.

Mr Stewart - It is the only one we have.

Mr OSBORNE - It is by no means the only one we have. We have one in every capital city, and I am sure that there are enthusiastic members of the Citizen Air Force who would strongly resent the interjection. °

I am aware of the very close association between the citizens of Adelaide and No. 24 Squadron, and so I regret, with the honorable member for Barker, that the reequipment of this squadron with Vampire aircraft has not yet been possible. It was intended that it would be re-equipped in the first half of the present financial year, but this has had to be postponed. The Air Force at present is engaged in a large number of changes of very sweeping importance which keep it very fully occupied. No. 1 Squadron has returned from Malaya. The Lincoln aircraft of this squadron have been withdrawn from service and the squadron is now being re-equipped with Canberra aircraft. Most of the personnel of the transport wing of the Air Force are now in America taking delivery of Hercules aircraft. One Canberra squadron has moved to Malaya and the Air Force is at present engaged in the very large-scale movement of two Sabre squadrons. The first squadron, No. 3 Squadron, will begin moving on 1st December, and the second squadron, No. 77 Squadron, will begin moving from Williamtown to Butterworth on 1st February of next year. All these moves arc keeping the Air Force very fully occupied. With the honorable member, I regret that it has not been possible to re-equip No. 24 Squadron yet. It is at present planned that the re-equipment will take place in the second half of the present financial year.

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