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G-G farewells Pearce

The outgoing Governor-General of Australia returned to familiar ground during a visit to RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia.

An honour guard welcomed General (retired) Sir Peter Cosgrove to the newly refurbished base.

The Governor-General is welcomed to RAAF Base Pearce with a Guard of Honour from No. 25 (City of Perth) Squadron personnel. Phtoto: Petty Officer James Whittle.

His return brought back memories for the Governor-General.

“The last time I was out here, I was boarding a C-130 to undertake a water jump,” Sir Peter said.

“It’s still a matter of debate whether I leapt out of the back of the aircraft or was given a gentle nudge.”

“The last time I was out here, I was boarding a C-130 to undertake a water jump.”

Commanding Officer No. 25 (City of Perth) Squadron (and Senior Australian Defence Force Officer RAAF Base Pearce), Wing Commander Andrew Brandham, and Commanding Officer No. 2 Flying Training School, Wing Commander Grant Taylor, greeted the Governor-General.

He participated in a pilot training lecture and operated a PC-21 flight simulator.

With more than 40 sessions in various simulators throughout his career, he flew and landed easily.

The Governor-General meets with members of No. 79 Squadron as he tours the newly refurbished facilities at RAAF Base Pearce. Photo: Petty Officer James Whittle

The Commanding Officer of No. 79 Squadron, Wing Commander Graham Williams, welcomed the Governor-General on arrival to the squadron’s headquarters, where Sir Peter spoke to students and flying instructors.

“You can blame me for the last bit of your flight.”

He also watched Flying Officer Dirk Smith fly the Hawk 127 simulator, where the Governor–General suggested a few training scenarios such as an engine shutdown.

He presented Flying Officer Dirk Smith with a medallion after the simulation.

“You can blame me for the last bit of your flight,” the Governor-General joked.

“I would like to give you a Governor-General’s medallion for unwittingly participating in my suggested training on the simulator.”

During the visit, Sir Peter presented three more medallions to RAAF Pearce personnel: Flying Officer Thomas Flatley, Flight Lieutenant Justin Hayter and Flying Officer Jason Milowski.

“Thank you for your support to the Australian Air Force and to the nation” he said.

The Governor-General, who is retiring soon, was grateful for the opportunity to visit the men and women of RAAF Base Pearce before his term ended.

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