RAAF 27Sqn (City of Townsville Squadron) leads the march along The Strand during the Freedom of Entry to the City parade

BEFORE the spectacular Defence Air Show and the base Open Day, RAAF Townsville put on another show of pomp and ceremony when it exercised its right to Freedom of Entry to the city last month.
Members from 27 (City of Townsville) Squadron, 38 Squadron, 383 Squadron (formerly 1 Airfield Operational Support Squadron), and 1 Combat Communication Squadron accompanied by the Air Force Band and members of local Air Cadet units marched from Strand Park to Anzac Park.
They were challenged near the Tobruk Pool by a senior member of the local constabulary.
The tradition, which dates back to medieval times when military units granted the honour were permitted to enter a city with their swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands playing and Colours flying.

WOFF Shanon Butt, RAAF Base Townsville, presents the scroll granting Freedom of Entry to the City of Townsville

RAAF Townsville was granted Freedom of Entry to the City of Townsville on September 27, 1972.
Senior ADF Officer at RAAF Townsville WGCDR Matt Harvey led the parade and responded to the challenge.

The parade was conducted in the morning before the Air Show on The Strand in the afternoon.
Police estimated more than 80,000 attended the Air Show.

Australian Air Force Cadets

Air Force Band

Mounted police lead the parade along The Strand

Noel Stoekl, 5 enjoyed the parade

Sarah, 9, and Samantha Tarleton, 11

Abigail, 10 and Chloe Mazzer, 6

Henry Smith and Mackenzie Power, 12