Formation of No 1 Security Guards Unit (No 1 Security Forces Squadron)

01 Oct 1942

Motto:  First to Defend

No 1 Security Forces Squadron forms part of No 95 Wing of the Combat Support Group. The Squadron provides security and air base support of domestic operations across all permanent RAAF bases in Victoria, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory. The Squadron also deploys to provide security and air base defence for expeditionary operations. Its headquarters are at RAAF Base Williamtown.

The origins of No 1 Security Force can be traced to the Security Guards Unit which formed on 1 October 1942 at Livingston Airfield south of Darwin. The Units role was to establish training standards and provide trained guards to airfields in northern Australia and the South Pacific.

On 7 April 1945 Security Guards Unit was renamed No 1 Airfield Defence Squadron’s. In August 1945 the Squadron guards who were attached to other units were posted to those units and the Squadron was disbanded on 19 November 1945.

No 1 Airfield Defence Squadron was reactivated between 5 July 1951 and 24 March 1953 as a National Service Training Unit at RAAF Base Mallala, South Australia.

In 1965 the airfield defence guard mustering was revived but guards were not formed into squadrons, instead they were posted to specific units.

During the Vietnam War RAAF airfield defence guards provided security for air bases at Vung Tau and Phan Rang for Nos 9 and 2 Squadrons. After the Vietnam War airfield defence guards were organised into independent rifle flights.

No 1 Airfield Defence Squadron was reformed on 1 July 1992 at RAAF Base Tindal to train Ready Reserve Scheme members. The Scheme was abolished in 1996 and a Ground Defence Reserve Group was formed. Following this, rifle flights were raised at RAAF Bases Pearce, Edinburgh, Williams, and Support Unit Hobart.

In late 1999 high readiness reservists from No 1 Airfield Defence Squadron increased Rifle Flights from No 2 Airfield Defence Squadron operating at Komoro Airfield in Dili.

In 2011 an internal review of the force protection workforce was conducted. It recommended the integration of ground defence, Air Force Security, Air Force Police, air base protection and explosive ordnance disposal functions. This lead to the formation of three Security Forces Squadrons and saw No 1 Airfield Defence Squadron renamed No 1 Security Forces Squadron.

No 1 Security Forces Squadron personnel have been deployed on operations including Accordion, Okra and to the Middle East. They have participated in exercises including Cope North and Gathering Storm 21.

In 2017 the Squadron was equipped with the Mk47 LWAGL (light weight automatic grenade launcher) and the eF88 (enhanced F88) Austeyr assault rifle.

To learn more, download this extract from Units of the Royal Australian Air Force by Despina Tramoundanis.

Related base

  • RAAF Base Williamtown