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NEW AIR CHIEF ON CITIZEN. TRAINING The Citizen Air Force would play a large and all-Important part in Australian defence preparations, the newly appointed Officer Commanding Western Area, R.A.A.F. (Group-Capt. W. L. Hely) said at Pearce yesterday morning.
Group-Capt. Hely, who ar rived in this State by air from the Eastern States on Saturday night, will not take up his ap pointment until the middle of October. At present he is the "guest" of Wing-CQmmander N. Ford, uWho has been Officer Com manding Western Area for the past three years. Wing-Commander Ford has been appointed Assistant-Com mandant of the .A.A.F. Staff School at Point Cook, Victoria, and will leave to take up this position on October 15. "I believe that a number of Vampire jet aircraft will be sta
tioned at Pearce in the near fu ture," said Group-Capt. Hely. "With these aircraft, members of the Citizen Air Force in this State could be brought up to date with modern methods of warfare." Although he is new to the R.A.A.F. station, Pearce,. Group-Capt. Hely says that he is no newcomer to this State. "Geographically, I suppose that I *know more of Western Australia than most West Aus tralians," he said, adding that his knowledge of the State was limited to the regions north of Carnarvon. Port Hedland residents will probably remember him as a
flight-lieutenant in 1936-37, when lie was based there. During this period, he car ried out extensive aerial surveys of the Kimberleys. Group-Capt. Hely has been called the "North-West air pio neer." He has also been termed the "officer in charge of air searches in Central Australia." The title refers to two exten sive air searches in which he took part--one for Dr. Clive Fenton, the noted "flying doc tor," in April, 1937, and an other for Sir Herbert Jepp in the same year.