301 AND 126 COMMANDO SIGNAL SQUADRONS
The requirement for long-range communications can be traced back to WWII and units such as Coastwatchers, New Guinea Air Warning Wireless Company, the Independent Companies, and the Allied Intelligence Bureau.
On 30 April 1958, a decision was made to raise No 1 Independent Signals Squadron to support clandestine operations, and this led to the formation of 301st Signal Squadron (Home Defence) in 1960 at Lidcombe, New South Wales.
This new squadron was to meet the requirement for 'special communications' and was charged with the responsibility of providing long-range communications for commando-type operations and was augmented with regular army personnel in 1963. In December 1964, 301st Signal Squadron was re-designated 126th Signal Squadron, later to 126th Signal Squadron (Special Forces) in January 1966 and subsequently relocated to Albert Park, Victoria and in 1972 again relocated to Simpson Barracks in Watsonia, Victoria.
The squadron had recruited female signallers since 1964.
In 1978, 126th Signal Squadron (Special Forces) was provided with approval to wear the green beret and in 1981 the first female passed selection and was awarded a green beret to Signaller Kerry Hiam. In 1992, 126th Signal Squadron (Special Forces) qualified commandos were given the approval to wear the 1st Commando Regiment badge.
In February 1997, 1 1st Commando Regiment provided the initial training for the re-role of the 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR) from an infantry battalion into a commando unit with 4RAR (Cdo) and it was at this time that 126th Signal Squadron (Special Forces) was transferred from 1st Commando Regiment and incorporated into 4RAR(Cdo) and relocated to Holsworthy.
In June 2002, 301 Signal Squadron was re-raised at Randwick Barracks to provide communications and information systems and electronic warfare to facilitate the command and control of special operations conducted by the 1st Commando Regiment. The Squadron has subunits allocated to each of the regiment’s subunits.