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  • LTCOL Russell Linwood, ASM (Retd) February 19, 2022   Reply →

    Very pleasing to see pictorial coverage of Air Base Butterworth. For the period of the Communist Insurgency in Malaysia (1968-89) this base continued to serve higher strategic purposes. For the duration of that war, aka Second Malaysian Emergency, many changes occurred as a result of both geostrategic national obligations, AND the new threat from the Communist Terrorists to the air base which substantial ex-classified intelligence proves was the case while the Malaysians fought a major and successful counterinsurgency campaign (hence the war as defined by Malaysia) including from Butterworth itself. Additional to the coming and going of RAAF flying and support assets was the created of the Integrated Air Defence System which included the RAAF airplanes and personnel, and the HQ IADS which based at Butterworth and commanded by a RAAF officer. From 1 May 70, we also saw the deployment of Army rifle companies to protect RAAF assets and personnel, initially from the FESR in-country AS, NZ and UK battalions, then then from Sep 73, reinforced ones direct from Australia. These are collectively known as Rifle Company Butterworth, and this coverage continued to the end of the CIM when the role of RCB changed form ‘protection’ to ‘training’. This means both the Army RCBs and the RAAF personnel at Butterworth during that war faced warlike service conditions, which the Government denies. Readers may wish to be appraised on the evidence support such a claim which is before successive Ministers. If so, we can provide both evidence-based article/s and imagery.

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