I have a special affinity with Penang. In my 23-year career with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), I spent almost four years over two postings living in Penang. When I arrived in 1977 at Air Base Butterworth, it was one of the largest fighter bases in the RAAF with two squadrons of Mirages, several Iroquois helicopters, a couple of DC-3 Dakotas, a Canberra bomber, a maintenance squadron, a base squadron, a hospital, an Army Rifle Company and the Headquarters of the Integrated Air Defence System. At that time, the Australian military was still involved in operations against the Communist Insurgency.
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