Here are a pair of images depicting 3 trial variations and one approved issue version of the RAAF SF (hat badge) for qualified Joint Terminal Attack Controllers. For disambiguation purposes, it is important to note that RAAF No. 4 Squadron A Flight, is composed of aircrew responsible for operating four Pilatus PC-9A(F) Forward Air Control (FAC) variant aircraft. The aircraft are based at RAAF Base Williamtown to train ADF Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC)
B Flight (Combat Control Team) personnel operate with Australian Army Ground Forces, to direct and control combat airstrike (CAS) operations for the forces they operate with.
Selection to become a Combat Controller is open to any ADF member and involves completion of the 8-week CCT Intake Course providing preparatory ground skills training and to prepare volunteers for the Special Forces Entry Test. Volunteers need to successfully pass the Special Forces Entry Test, complete the Commando Reinforcement Training Cycle, Joint Terminal Attack Controller, Aviation Meteorology, Assault Zone Reconnaissance and Air Weapons Delivery courses.
C Flight delivers the ADF Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) course as well as the ongoing accreditation of graduates.
As you can see, the two left most badges are in chrome finish with black synthetic enamel background detail. The only real difference between these two initial trial pattern insignia, is that the first pattern item is thicker than the second pattern.
The 3rd variation is the same size as the first two variants, however it is as thin as the second variant and is finished in a matt gun metal finish.
The 4th variant was accepted for issue and use, it is identical to the 3rd variation design, save for the fact the the overall size of the variant was reduced.
Note that all four variants depicted in this post, were manufactured by Wundurra Medal Mounting (Brisbane Australia) and that this SF insignia was conditionally included in Volume 2 of our work on Australian Army metal uniform embellishments (at item CB 360R), for the purposes of documenting and explaining the issue of this SF item and its recent appearance on the headdress used by B Flight (Combat Control Team) Operators serving alongside Australian Army personnel.
Yours in militaria collecting and research
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