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707th Special Missions Battalion

RAAF Airfield Defense Guards

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RAAF Airfield Defense Guards

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airfield Defense Guards, are the RAAF's ground combat specialists. Distinguished by their blue-gray berets, ADG's (Adgies) are tasked with defending Australian air bases from attacks by enemy special operations forces. These highly trained airmen also provide training in survival techniques, weapons, tactics, and rescue operations for other Royal Australian Air Force personnel. The unit has recently been tasked with providing a new CSAR force to the Air Force. History:
The history of the RAAF Airfield Defense Guards began during WW2. During the early part of 1942, Australia came under attack by Japanese aircraft. The Australian government responded by ordering the formation of a "Defense Pool" of trained Air Force infantrymen to fight against the forseen japanese invasion.

Initial training took place under the guidance of the Australian Army and a cadre of instructors drawn from the RAF Regiment. The troops were deployed within Australia and at various locations though out the South Pacific. In 1945 the Defense Pool would be used to form the RAAF Infantry Regiment. The Regiment consisted of two squadrons: No1 and 2 Aerodrome Defense Squadrons (ADS). Each of the units was battalion sized. No.1 Squadron remained in Australia, tasked with defending Australia's strategic assets and acting as a RAAF operational reserve. No 2 ADS participated in a number of amphibious combat landings and overseas deployments. With the Japanese invasion threat minimalized and the war drawing to a close, the RAAF Infantry Regiment was disbanded.

With the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, Australia committed troops to the conflict. Among the first troops to deploy were RAAF aircraft squadrons. Included within each squadron HQ were number of Ground Defense Officers and Aerodrome Defense Instructors. The troops were tasked with planning the defense of the squadron and performing defensive operations around the base perimeter. The troops conducted security and defense operations for the remainder of the war.

Later, as the intensity of combat in Vietnam increased, Australia was asked to increase its level of commitment. To comply with these new demands, the RAAF deployed a number aircraft to Phan Rang Airbase, Thailand in 1966. The USAF Security Police unit assigned to the base, asked that the RAAF help contribute to the base's defense. To meet this new challenge the RAAF consolidated the Aerodrome Defense Officers and Drill Instructor musterings, to form the Airfield Defense Guard mustering (ADGs).

ADG Flights were deployed to various locations though out Vietnam and Thailand. They conducted security patrols outside the base perimeter, thus distrupting the Viet Cong ability to conduct stand-off attacks against the bases. ADGs also acted as door gunners on RAAF helicopters. The ADG's operated where ever RAAF units deployed. When the government of South Vietnam's collapsed in 1975, Australia ordered the evacuation of its embassy in Saigon. As their final mission in Vietnam, ADGs were deployed to secure the airfield being used by RAAF C-130's, to evacuate Australian embassy personnel. The "last" evacuation aircraft was severely overloaded and four ADGs remained behind. When the rescue aircraft returned, it found NVA troops at the gates and the ADGs still holding out. These four "adgies" were the last Australian troops to leave Vietnam.

After the conflict in Vietnam ended, four Independent Rifle Flights continued to operate at various locations thoughout Australia. In 1983 the RAAF consolidated the flights and used them to re-form No. 2 Airfield Defense Squadron (2AFDS). The new unit consisted of four platoon-sized Rifle Flights and a Support Flight. Rifle Flights are divided into a HQ section and three 10-man sections. The support flight consisted of four sections: Communications, Logistics, Heavy Weapons, and Scout Dog.

In 1991 The RAAF decided to re-form No. 1 Airfield Defense Squadron (1AFDS). It also formed HQ Airfield Defense Wing. In 1993 2AFDS conducted several training exercises with the Australian SASR, US Army Special Forces A-teams, USN SEALs, and a USAF SOS. Thoughout the course of year, 2AFDS continued to refine its counter SOF role. In 1995 2AFDS undertook an intensive training program with a team from the 3/1 SFG (Abn). The squadron also participated in a joint exercise with a USAF Special Tactics team and MC-130 aircraft.

In 1996 the RAAF formed No. 3 Airfield Defense Squadron. In 1997 Cambodia was on the brink of civil war, and the Australian government ordered the evacuation of its nationals. To help safeguard the evacuation, ADGs were once again deployed into harms way. Beginning in 1998 small teams of ADGs began deploying to Kuwait. The teams provide security for RAAF aircraft supporting Operation Deny Flight.

In 1999 the administrative head of the ADS, the 1AFDW was placed on notice that they will soon assume duties as the RAAF's CSAR force.

No. 1 Airfield Defense Wing (No.1AFDW) is currently organized into three squadrons with a fourth (No. 4AFDS) scheduled to be activated in late 1999. No 1 and 3 AFDs are mixed units, made up of both active and reserve airman.

2AFDS is completely manned by regulars. It is currently organized into 3 Rifle Flights and 1 Motorized Rifle Flight (QRF). The QRF is a specialized unit performing fire support, VIP protection, counter assault, and acts as a mobile reserve for units under attack.

Support Flight now falls under HQ 1AFDW and is made up of 4 sections: Logistics, Communications, Support Weapons, and Recon. The Recon Flight conducts mobile recon missions in support of RAAF units and would secure choke points and FARPs for aircraft operating in hostile areas.

RAAF enlistees wishing to become ADGs must first complete the 10 week RAAF recruit training course. Once successfully completed they then attend the 15 week ADG Basic course. Located at the RAAF Security and Fire School (RAAFSFS) RAAF Base, Amberley.

During the course trainees receive instruction in communications, weapons and explosives handling, field craft, combat tactics, field operations, combat survival and rescue operations. Trainees are required to live in the field for a period of three or four weeks during training, with only a minimal amount of sleep. Currently the course boost a 60-75% failure rate. All ADGs are require to attend the Combat Survival School (COMSURV) within one year of completing the basic course.

Weapons and Equipment:
ADGs are equipped with a variety of weapons and vehicles to help them accomplish their mission. Primary they are armed with F88 (Australian version of the Steyr AUG) 5.56mm rifles, US M-16A2/M-203s, and F89 5.56mm LSWs (MINIMI ). The primary sidearm for machine gunners and QRF members is the browning high-power or Glock 19. QRF members are also issued with the US M-79 40mm grenade launcher. Unit snipers are issued British L96 rifles. Heavy weapons include the 66mm LAW, 84 mm Carl Gustov, and 7.62 GPMG. Soon to be added to the armory are US MK-19 40mm automatic grenade launcherss.

The Current vehicle on issue is a modified 110 Land Rover ( GunBuggye), but the RAAF announced that the Gun Buggies being used by 2AFDS QRF roles, will soon be replaced by 18 Bushranger armored vehicles. The unit also maintains a large number of quad runner 4x4s, and Unimog trucks. As part of the RAAF ADGs have access to the complete range of RAAF tactical and strategic aircraft.