Announcing Canberra’s Black Tower Squad

The Southern Cross Garrison was excited to announce the formation of the Black Tower Squad, during Cap Expo in late March.

Black Tower Squad logo

Situated above the summit of Black Mountain in the Australian Capital Territory, the tower has a commanding view of the City of Canberra and could easily be mistaken for an Imperial Base within the Star Wars universe.

Inspired by the popular tourist location, the local 501st members took the name Black Tower Squad as they started the application for Squad status in March 2017, a process commenced by proud Canberran Legionnaire, Matt Maolcathaigh.

While the Squad region covers Canberra and Queanbeyan areas, members also reside further afield in locations such as Goulburn and Albury.

Black Tower Squad currently consists of 24 members and 3 cadets (people actively working on costumes prior to joining the 501st Legion), and is headed by Squad Leader Mick Ferris.

“I think our region is special. While we are a city, our area also has a country community feel”, Mick says. “Having our own Squad gives us a local identity.”

This is a sentiment shared by Garrison CO, Mack Stockhausen.

“The formation of the Black Tower Squad is one I am very proud of. In the wake of the Hunter Hornet Squad, our brothers and sisters in the ACT Region wished to form their own identity and brand,” explains Mack.

“The Southern Cross Garrison is a proud parent to two squads that are formed with some of the most passionate members in the 501st Legion,” Mack continues.

Squad XO, Tony Armriding, also shares some thoughts on the Squad formation, “I feel it was a natural progression as we grew in numbers and as the region expanded. It’s a reflection on the Garrison as we all watched Newcastle’s Hunter Hornets form. This was certainly something that gave us encouragement.”

The iconic Black Tower is central to the Squad’s logo, with a colour palette designed to complement the Southern Cross Garrison’s brand. Canberra is also well known for it popular hot air balloon flights, although these have been replaced with Star Destroyers for the logo.

CapExpo 2018 group photo

Having the success of the Black Tower Squad application announced at Cap Expo was also memorable.

“Cap Expo is one of our big troops in the local calendar and I think it's a great way to showcase the region, with all the local groups and clubs coming together,” Tony reflects. “It’s a great ‘troop’ to use as a recruitment day. Having CapExpo fall on our first day as a Squad was perfect timing.”

Black Tower Squad have some exciting plans for the future. In April they will be participating in 6 local events.

The Squad leadership are also in discussions with Canberra Zoo to develop a local “Dreamnight”, to complement the current annual event held at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, that sees the zoo opened after hours exclusively for children with chronic illnesses or disabilities and their families.

If you are interested in learning more about Black Tower Squad or joining their ranks, visit the Join Us page. Half-yearly recruitment days are also being organised - so stay tuned via the Southern Cross Garrison Facebook page.