Air Combat Group Gathers to mark 45 Years of Service

Around 80 Air Combat Group personnel assembled at the Williamtown Officer’s Mess to mark Wing Commander Stephen Spencer’s receipt of a well-earned second Federation Star, the sixth Clasp to the Defence Long Service Medal on 14 Mar 2019.
Around 80 Air Combat Group personnel assembled at the Williamtown Officer’s Mess to mark Wing Commander Stephen Spencer’s receipt of a well-earned second Federation Star, the sixth Clasp to the Defence Long Service Medal, on 14 Mar 2019.
 
Commander of Air Combat Group, Air Commodore Mike Kitcher presented the long service medal to WGCDR Spencer and thanked him for his service spanning over four decades, and in particular his commitment to Air Combat Group over the past 10 years.
 
“WGCDR Spencer’s service reflects the staunch pride and commitment he has demonstrated over the past 45 years of Service in the RAAF, and for the Australian people,” AIRCDRE Kitcher said.
 
“ACG has truly benefitted from the continuity and professionalism WGCDR Spencer has provided in the capability and airworthiness space,” AIRCDRE Kitcher said.
 
WGCDR Spencer said he had many career highlights over the course of his 45 years of service in the RAAF. 
 
“Many things have changed since I joined in 1968 as a pilot – within the RAAF and Australia.  In 1968, Australia’s population was only 12 million, it is now over 26 million.”
 
“Today’s Air Force is marked by the professionalism of its personnel.  We are definitely a more professional workplace,’’ he said.
 
Key moments in WGCDR Spencer’s career include: -
  • As Commanding Officer of 35SQN, providing support to famine relief operations in PNG and Iran Jaya.
  • Providing support to Australian communities during flood relief operations in 1974 and 1976
  • Acting as the Chief of Flying Operations in the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET) Operation Warden – 21 Sep 1999 to 20 Dec 1999
  • Flying instructional duties during three postings to No 1FTS, training and helping to develop trainees into operational pilots in the RAAF.
 
WGCDR Spencer acknowledged the support of his wife, Ruth, and his sons, Matt, Tim and Sam throughout his career. 
 
He cited the importance of family support to serving ADF members. Ruth and son, Tim, attended the award ceremony.
 
The Defence Long Service Medal is awarded for 15 years of service in the RAAF. For every 15 years, and additional clasp is added. 
 
WGCDR Spencer has been awarded his sixth clasp and plans to finally retire at the end of this year.
 
After the award ceremony, WGCDR Spencer returned to work at HQ ACG; he had some upcoming Airworthiness Boards documentation to prepare.
 
Service History:
  • Enlisted 15 Jan 1968 as a pilot
  • Currently posted to HQACG in the SO1 Airworthiness and Capability Management Reserve position
  • Career postings include: - 38SQN Instructor, Flight Commander, Chief Flying Instructor - 1FTS; Transport Support Flight - BUT, Cadet Squadron Commander - RAAF Academy; RAAF Support Unit - MLB,  OC Delta Squadron - ADFA; HQALG, Commanding Officer - 35SQN, XO - HQ84WG, Lead Air Planner - ADF Warfare Centre, 26SQN, CFTS – HQAC Op Slipper, SO1 ACM - HQACG.
 
Honours and Awards:
06 Nov 2012        Clasp ICAT to the Australian Active Service Medal
15 Jun 2006         Australian Defence Medal
4 Feb 2004           Australian Service Medal with Clasp SE Asia
6 May 2002          Australian Service Medal with Clasp Papua New Guinea
12 Apr 2000         Commendation for Distinguished Service
19 Oct 1999         International Forces East Timor Medal