This December will see the retirement of 21 F-111 aircraft after 37 years service in Australia’s Air force. Their great legacy (to me anyway) will be that none of them ever saw combat and never took a life in anger. (Although they did kill 10 crew members accidentally and poisoned about 400 with leaking fuels tanks.)

I am not into war. I definitely don’t like the idea of my tax dollars being used to buy war machines, but I can’t deny the fact that Australia needs to be defended, if for no other reason than the fact that we are sitting on top of about 1/3rd of the world’s uranium supply.

The F-111 were the longest range and fastest air craft in the the Asia Pacific region. If their presence has prevented conflict and loss of life, which I think they most likely have, then congratulation on a job well done. I hope that their replacements, the F/A-18F Super Hornets, leave the same legacy.