Military Wiki
1 Airfield Defence Squadron
Active 1 October 1992-Present
Branch RAAF
Role Airfield Defence
Part of Combat Support Group
Garrison/HQ RAAF Base Amberley
Motto(s) First to Defend

No 1 Airfield Defence Squadron (1AFDS) is a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) military unit whose primary role is to protect and defend airfields, buildings, equipment, and personnel.


The squadron's crest comprises a crossed rifle and sword surmounted by a crocodile. The crocodile is symbolic in that it aggressively defends its territory against all intruders and can strike quickly to disable any aggressor. The symbolism of the crocodile aligns with the protective role of Airfield Defence Guards and the aggressive patrolling and decisive actions performed providing security to otherwise vulnerable air bases.


Formed on 1 October 1942, as Security Guard Unit RAAF (SGU) at Livingstone Airfield, Northern Territory, Australia. All guards at operational bases, advanced operational bases, radio stations and non-operational units were assigned to this Unit from 5 October 1942. Their role was to provide personnel to defend airfields and their assets

SGU was relocated to Nightcliff on 13 June 1943 and saw operational service during World War 2 in support of units throughout the South Pacific theater of war. Of particular note is services rendered by Special Task Force that served under command Z Force, two members of which 1AFDS were later awarded MBE's. SGU was renamed No 1 Airfield Defence Squadron on 1 April 1945 but was disbanded on 19 November 1945 following the cessation of hostilities. The musterings that served in the Squadron were Airfield Defence Officers (ADO), Aerodrome Defence Instructors (ADI), and Guards. The SGU provided administration and standardised the training of security guards and a mobile body of guards that would be available that could defend the bases against Japanese attacks.

On 23 September 1945, the unit was moved to Winnellie, Northern Territory and was disbanded on 19 November 1945. 1AFDS Reformed at RAAF Base Mallala, South Australia in 1950, to provide training to National Service personnel in airfield defence duties. Renamed No. 1 Aerodrome Defence Squadron (1AFDS) on 25 June 1951 and was disbanded in March 1953.

The unit was again reformed on 1 July 1992 at RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory. Initially formed to provide the training under the Ready Reserve Scheme, however, this was amended to the ground defence, protection and security of RAAF installations, assets, facilities and personnel on 30 June 1992.

On 1 January 1999, 1AFDS relocated to RAAF Base Edinburgh, South Australia.

16 Reserve Airfield Defence Guards from 1AFDS deployed on Operation Warden/Stabilise in East Timor under the command of 2AFDS.

In 2010 1 AFDS moves to RAAF base Amberley and expands to full-time service members working with reserve flights, and is active in conjunction with 2 AFDS


World War II

East Timor




  • Headquarters
  • Rifle Flights x 3
  • Quick Reaction Force Flight
  • Cadre Flights x 1
  • Support Flight
  • GRDefRG PTS Flights - Based in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania.


See also[]

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