The following list includes all RAAF units that served in East Timor as part of Operation WARDEN Sep 1999 – Feb 2000.  These include those units responsible for aircraft flying within 100 nautical miles of the East Timor mainland.

RAAF units, based in East Timor, directly involved in Operation WARDEN

  • Combined Air Component Headquarters (HQ) INTERFET
  • INTERFET Combined Air Wing (ICAW) detachment
  • RAAF Aero medical evacuation (AME) teams
  • 86 Wing (DHC-4) Detachment ‘C’ – assembled from 35 & 38 Squadrons
  • 381 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron (381ECSS)
  • 382 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron (382ECSS)
  • 2 Airfield Defence Squadron (2AFDS)

RAAF units, based in Australia, directly involved in Operation WARDEN
Many of these units operated aircraft which flew missions to, from, or over East Timor. The most important bases, Townsville, Tindal and Darwin, involved a RAAF surge in effort to support Operation WARDEN.

  • Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) ICAW
  • 86 Wing (C-130) Detachment ‘B’ – assembled from 36 & 37 Squadrons
  • 92 Wing Detachment
    • 10 Squadron (P-3C) element
    • 11 Squadron (P3-C) element
  • 82 Wing Detachment
    • 1 Squadron (F-111) element
    • 6 Squadron (F-111 & RF-111) element
  • 81 Wing Detachment
    • 75 Squadron (F/A-18) element
    • 77 Squadron (PC-9A) element
  • 33 Squadron (Boeing 707 tanker) element
  • 34 Squadron (Falcoln 900) element

Main Ground Support Elements

  • 395 Expeditionary Combat Support Wing (395ECSW), Detachment ‘D’
  • 41 Wing (Surveillance and Control) elements
  • 383 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron (383ECSS) elements
  • 386 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron (386ECSS) elements
  • 1 Combat Communications Squadron (1CCS) elements
  • 1 Combat Logistics Squadron (1CLS) elements
  • 3 Combat Support Hospital (3CSH) elements
  • 322 Combat Support Wing (322CSW) Headquarters
  • 322 Combat Support Squadron (322CSS)

The above list represents the most important contributions. Many smaller subunits, detachments or flights were involved in supporting the operation. RAAF personnel were also attached as individuals to non-Air Force units within INTERFET. Overall, almost the entire operational capacity of the RAAF was involved, in one way or another, in support of the East Timor operation.

The maximum strength of RAAF air support was: thirteen C-130 Hercules, three DHC-4 Caribou, ten F-111, twelve F/A-18 Hornets, five P-3C Orions, three Boeing 707 tankers, three PC-9s and a single Falcon 900 VIP aircraft.

Unlike past operatons, many RAAF units were formed using detachments, augmentees and individual deployments from the entire Air Force. For example, 381 ECSS included air traffic controllers, air loaders, logistics staff, airfield engineers, fire-fighters, communications staff, catering, administration personnel and many more specialist staff, assembled from RAAF bases situated across the county.

Dr Gregory Gilbert
Deputy RAAF Historian
Office of Air Force History


David Wilson, Warden to Tanager: RAAF Operations in East Timor, Banner Books, Maryborough, QLD, 2003.
OAFH Collection: RAAF Unit History Records, 1999-2000, (various units).