RAAF Base Scherger opened near Weipa
On this day, the Prime Minister, John Howard, officially opened the Air Force’s latest base 26 kilometres east of Weipa, on the western side of Cape York Peninsula. The new facility completed a program to construct a chain of bases across Australia’s ‘top end’. Built on the 'bare base' principle, it was designed to accommodate up to 1500 military personnel and about 40 aircraft. Its opening was combined with the launch of a major exercise in the region involving more than 300 personnel from No 395 Combat Support Wing and No 2 Airfield Defence Squadron. The base was named after Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick Scherger (1904–1984), who the Prime Minister described as one of Australia’s finest airmen and military officers, and one of the earliest and strongest advocates of northern bases to protect Australia’s air and sea approaches.