Between 1942 and 1974 the Royal Australian Air Force Mobile Works Squadrons and Airfield Construction Squadrons operated under adverse physical conditions in peace and war.
Forward airfields, vital to the aerial campaigns in the SouthWest Pacific, were developed, often under fire.
The ACS squadrons landed on the beaches with the assault forces at Aitape, Tarakan, Morotai, Balikpapan and Labuan Island. The task of the squadrons was to land and immediately follow the infantry and build or re-build airfields, camps, roads and wharves as soon as possible. This was done, in many cases, in a matter of days under the most trying conditions, and under continuous air raids, sniper, and artillery fire while the earthmoving equipment was used day and night.
In addition to the post-war development of facilities on the mainland, Airfield Construction Squadrons served with the occupation force in Japan, built the airfield at Butterworth during the Malayan Emergency and developed facilities at Ubon Thailand, Phan Rang and Vung Tau in South Vietnam.
Among units in the Armed Services, one of the many things that made the RAAF Airfield Construction Squadrons special was that most other units had roles that were destructive, whereas theirs were constructive, and created lasting assets. The ACSs' monument is the set of military airfields and associated facilities, which they constructed in war and peace in every State/Territory, on the Australian mainland, Japan, Cocos Islands, the SouthWest Pacific, and SouthEast Asia. The ACS worked hard, played hard, and there was no finer unit on parade. Their esprit de corps and family spirit live on at the annual State and biennial National reunions that are organised by dedicated former members.