No 1 Combat Communications Squadron was first formed as the Air Transportable Telecommunications Unit

20 Sep 1965

Motto: Adroit

No 1 Combat Communications Squadron was first formed on 20 September 1965 as the Air Transportable Telecommunications Unit (ATTU). The Squadron is part of No 95 Wing of the Combat Support Group. The squadron's headquarters are located at RAAF Base Amberley in South East Queensland with the squadron’s three flights located at RAAF Bases Amberley, Williamtown (New South Wales) and Edinburgh (South Australia).

The No 1 Combat Communications Squadron provides combat and temporary communications and information systems facilities and services for ADF and RAAF operations and exercises around the world.

On 15 November 1965, FLTLT Richard A. Bell and FLTLT Colin R. McDonald assumed command of ATTU. The first task for the unit in November 1965 involved the installation of a tactical air navigation beacon in Alice Springs, Northern Territory.

The unit is one of the most deployed squadrons in the RAAF. Given their role, the unit has faced a range of challenging tasks over the years. The most challenging communications task since World War II involved the return of RAAF resources to Malaysia relating to No 3 Squadron after they were re-equipped with Mirage jets in 1969. After Cyclone Tracy in Darwin, Northern Territory in 1974, the unit deployed to ensure essential communications were made available and accessible. This deployment lasted six months and, at that time, was the longest deployment for the unit’s members.

The unit has been involved in a wide range of roles in relation to different events and natural disasters. These roles include assisting the Australian Space Debris Emergency Search Team when the Soviet nuclear-powered Cosmos 1402 spy satellite re-entered the earth’s atmosphere; the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix; the 75th anniversary Anzac Veterans tours to Turkey and France; a cease fire and election in Cambodia; evacuations due to civil unrest at various locations around the world; the 2000 Sydney Olympics; and numerous world leader summits.

In September 1990, the unit celebrated its 25th anniversary with 300 past and current members. In 1999, the unit was renamed to No 1 Combat Communications Squadron due to a restructure and placed within No 395 Expeditionary Combat Support Wing. In 2001, the unit had the honour of leading the RAAF contingent in the annual ANZAC Day parade in Sydney, New South Wales.

In November 2003, the Squadron received the Meritorious Unit Citation ‘For sustained outstanding service in warlike operations in providing expeditionary communications and information systems… during Operation Falconer’. In 2003, the unit was presented with the Governor General’s Banner. In January 2015, the Squadron’s headquarters moved from RAAF Base Richmond in New South Wales to RAAF Base Amberley in South East Queensland.

The unit has been awarded the Markowski Cup as the RAAF’s most proficient specialist support unit in 2009, 2014, and 2019.

Related base

  • RAAF Base Amberley
  • RAAF Base Edinburgh
  • RAAF Base Williamtown