{THEY PREPARED THE WAY}
From January 1952 until August 1958 the majority of the work undertaken by 2ACS was outside the Australian continent   Cocos Island, Manus Island and Butterworth. However, after the Cocos Island deployment, the unit moved to Townsville for a short period before transferring to Manus Island. Detachment `B' was raised during November 1952 to undertake the construction of a new airstrip at Townsville. Initially work was restricted to servicing equipment shipped from Cocos Island and winning material from a quarry at Bohle River. The latter activity was suspended in August 1953 due to the lack of technicians, the re organisation of the sub unit and the need to prepare for the construction of a new runway. The clearance of swampland commenced in September. Quarrying operations at Bohle River recommenced in October and the runway, taxiways, and access roads at Townsville were close to completion when the squadron commenced its deployment to Butterworth in July 1955. Delays to the project were caused by monsoon weather and lack of manpower and a requirement in December 1953/January 1954 to repair a `failure' in the intersection of the existing 21-degree/ 129 degree runway (which required the removal and replacement of 16,994 cubic metres of material and the closure of both runways) during January 1954. In February 1955 the Chief Engineer for Roads and Aerodromes, Department of Works, advised that to cater for the wheel loads of aircraft expected to use the runway the minimum thickness of the pavement would have to be 250 centimetres. An extra 104,575 cubic metres of selected fill and another 65,359 cubic metres of other material was required to meet the revised plan and specification.