RAAF C-130 at start of Confrontation

On this day, a RAAF C-130A of No 36 Squadron joined an airlift to deploy British troops and equipment from Singapore to British territories on the island of Borneo to contain an Indonesian-supported rebellion. This was the start of ‘Confrontation’––the four-year period of tension between Indonesia and the Federation of Malaysia which was formed in 1963. For the next 15 days, the RAAF C-130A (flown by three crews on rotation) joined RNZAF and RAF aircraft transporting British troops into Brunei to support local police and prevent the rebellion from spreading. The Borneo airfields used were primitive and could come under attack at any time. This airlift was the first occasion that RAAF C-130s were used to deploy ground forces directly into a combat zone, and flights supporting Borneo operations would continue for the next five years.

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