Arrival of first Super Hornets
On this day, the first five of 24 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet (Rhino) aircraft on order for the RAAF arrived at the Amberley air base after flying across the Pacific Ocean, becoming the Air Force’s first new air combat aircraft in 25 years. The long ferry flight began on 19 March, when the detachment took off from Naval Station Lemoore in California, USA, headed for Hawaii. Two days later they took off from Hickam Air Force Base and undertook aerial refuelling en route to Pago Pago in American Samoa. The Super Hornets were also refuelled mid-air on the leg to Auckland, New Zealand, on 23 March. On arrival at Amberley, the aircraft and crews were met by a large welcoming party led by the Minister for Defence and the Chief of Air Force. After further deliveries of Super Hornets were received, No 1 Squadron was declared operational on 8 December.