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Vol. 53, No. 19, October 27, 2011 The official newspaper of the Royal Australian Air Force
Air Force welcomes four
new Rhinos with dramatic
20-ship formation flypast
SECURING THE SKIES FOR CHOGM P5
RHINO SWARM: To mark the
arrival of four new F/A-18 Super
Hornets, and the completion of the
fleet for 1 and 6SQNs, a 20-ship
Rhino formation flew into RAAF
Base Amberley on October 21.
The formation is shown here flying
over Noosa. CAF AIRMSHL Geoff
Brown piloted one of the jets,
along with OC 82WG GPCAPT
Steve Roberton, pictured below
inset being interviewed by the
media with his family. Photos: LAC
Glynn Jones (main) and CPL Andrew Eddie
October 27, 2011 RCE AIRF
David Edlington: (02) 6265 4650
Simone Liebelt: (02) 6265 2253
Mobile: 0400 003792
Deputy Editor and sport
John Martin: (02) 6265 7219
Trish Dillon: (02) 6266 7607
Tim Asher: (07) 3332 7651
Mobile: 0459 842551
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Mail: Air Force News, PO Box 7909,
Canberra BC, ACT 2610
Ai Ai Ai Ai AA r rrr Fo Fo FFo Fo
fo fo fo fo fo fort rt rt rt rt rt rtnnnnnnn
De De De De De De Defe fe fe fe feeennnnnn
Fi Fi Fi Fine ne nee ne
th th th th he e ee e ri ri ri ri
RHINOS took to the skies in force
with 20 F/A-18F Super Hornets
performing a mass formation
flypast to welcome four new jets.
Sixteen jets launched from
RAAF Base Amberley and tracked
to North Stradbroke Island where
they formed up, crossing the coast
at Southport before flying down the
Gold Coast and Tweed Heads.
The dramatic formation then flew
out to sea and re-formed at a point
off the Sunshine Coast where they
greeted the four new jets.
The 20-strong formation then
flew south from Noosa Heads
down to the Sunshine Coast to
Brisbane where it provided a mag-
nificent spectacle over the CBD en
route to Ipswich.
Meanwhile, a solo Super Hornet
kept the crowds at Amberley amazed
with a high-performance aerial dis-
play over the base demonstrating the
advanced capabilities of the Rhino.
Applause erupted at RAAF Base
Amberley as the jets touched down
at their new home, signifying the
successful delivery of all 24 Super
Hornets for 82WG.
Leading the fifth Super Hornet
ferry from the States, OC 82WG
GPCAPT Steve Roberton said it was
a great day for Air Force.
“It would have been an impres-
sive sight to watch the 20 jets fly
over in close formation, but equally
as impressive is the hard work and
coordinated effort from the mainte-
nance workforce to have this many
jets serviceable and available to
launch,” GPCAPT Roberton said.
Supported by a USAF KC-10
tanker, the four-ship ferry departed
Lemoore in California, making
operational stops in Guam, Hawaii
and Townsville before joining the
awe inspiring mass formation on
their way home to Amberley.
It took five days to fly the long
journey across the Pacific, with
friends and family welcoming the
aircrew and maintainers home
following about six weeks in the
States testing the new aircraft
before final acceptance.
CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown
joined the team in Townsville and
experienced the historic flypast first-
hand from the front seat of Aircraft
“The Super Hornet provides
Australia with leading-edge
capability that was demonstrated
today with the mass flypast. We
acknowledge the hard work of the
whole team at Amberley to achieve
this remarkable display,” AIRMSHL
– FLTLT Skye Smith
FLTLT Skye Smith
THE arrival of four F/A-18F Super
Hornets in Brisbane has completed de-
livery of all 24 jets for 1 and 6SQNs.
The new Rhinos arrived with
much fanfare as part of a spectacular
20-ship formation on October 21.
Minister for Defence Materiel
Jason Clare said the Super Hornets
were the new front line of Australia’s
“They are amongst the best fighter
planes in the world – and all 24 air-
craft have been delivered on budget
and ahead of schedule,” he said.
“The F-111 farewell 10 months
ago was a sad day, but today we cel-
ebrate the tremendous capability the
Super Hornet provides now and well
into the future. Today we know we are
in good hands.”
CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown said
the occasion was an important day for
Air Force and an important day for
“The Super Hornet is a tremen-
dous addition to the air combat fleet
and is the greatest capability we have
leading us into the future today and
for many years to come,” AIRMSHL
Leading the four-ship ferry in
Aircraft 224, OC 82WG GPCAPT
Steve Roberton took the final honours
as his jet touched down last on home
soil at RAAF Base Amberley follow-
ing the flypast and transit from the
“The Super Hornet provides
a major advancement in capability
for the RAAF and the entire ADF,”
GPCAPT Roberton said.
“The Super Hornet employs the
world’s most advanced combat radar,
ensuring our forces have a clear
advantage in both technology and
capability, whether conducting air,
ground or maritime operations.
“The Super Hornet’s ability to col-
lect and seamlessly distribute informa-
tion to our other platforms is proving to
be invaluable as a true force multiplier.”
The Aust r al i an gover nment
announced plans in March 2007 to
acquire 24 advanced Block II versions
of the F model Super Hornet, which
features a two-person cockpit.
The first five Super Hornets arrived
at Amberley on March 26, 2010, and
the aircraft has been progressively intro-
duced into service since.
The Super Hornet fleet will bridge
the gap between the F-111 retirement
and Joint Strike Fighter delivery.
The Rhino is a multi-role aircraft,
able to perform virtually every mis-
sion in the tactical spectrum, includ-
ing air superiority, day/night strike
with precision-guided weapons, fight-
er escort, close air support, suppres-
sion of enemy air defences, maritime
strike, reconnaissance, forward air
control and tanker missions.
The F/A-18F also has stand-off
attack and maritime interdiction capa-
bility through the Joint Stand-Off
Weapon and Harpoon anti-shipping
Use of t he F/ A-18F Act ive
Electronically Scanned Array radar and
the dual cockpit configuration offers
enhanced, networked air combat solu-
tion in an increased threat environment.
The Rhino can carry about one-
third more fuel and weapons payload
than the F/A-18A or F/A-18B Classic
Hornet aircraft, while maintaining the
same speed and handling characteris-
tics in combat configurations.
The total program investment is
about $6 billion over 10 years, which
includes acquisition and all support
costs as well as personnel. The acqui-
sition component is about $2.7 bil-
lion for 24 aircraft, weapons, facilities
upgrades and training.
At final operational capability,
expected by the end of 2012, the Super
Hornet capability will be mature with
training being conducted in Australia
and 24 aircraft with associated person-
nel, weapons and logistics support.
Phase two of the project will
acquire the AIM-9X within-visual-
range air-to-air missile, a new variant
of the Advanced Medium Range Air-
to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) beyond-
visual-range air-to air missile, the
Joint Stand-Off Weapon C and C-1
medium-range air-to-surface weapon
and new infra-red flares.
Twelve of the F/A-18F Super
Hornet aircraft have been pre-wired for
later conversion to EA-18G Growler if
required by the government.
The Block II F/A-18F Super
Hornets will assure Australia’s region-
al air combat capability edge through
to the introduction of the Joint Strike
Fighter and withdrawal of the Classic
Fanfare for Rhinos
ARRIVING IN STYLE: CAF
AIRMSHL Geoff Brown climbs
from the cockpit soon after
landing at Amberley with
SQNLDR Grant Fifield.
Photo: CPL Andrew Eddie
OUR SUPER HEROES: Look, up in the sky. Is it a bird? Is it a
plane? No, it’s our Super Hornets enthralling the crowd at RAAF
Base Amberley. Photo: CPL Andrew Eddie
3 News October 27, 2011 RCE AIRFF
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FRESH WATER will be in supply
on the tiny South Pacific nation of
Tuvalu, thanks to trans-Tasman coop-
A 36SQN C-17A has worked
with a Royal New Zealand Air
Force (RNZAF) C-130H to deliver
a desalinisation unit to Tuvalu’s main
Picking up the unit and New
Zealand Defence Force personnel in
Auckland on October 10, the C-17A
flew 2900 kilometres over the Pacific
Tuvalu’s airport was too small
to support a C-17A for this task,
meaning a Hercules from RNZAF’s
40SQN carried the load over the
remaining 1300 kilometres.
Tuvalu is comprised of a series of
islands, and at 26 square kilometres is
the world’s fourth smallest country.
Low rainfall has contributed to
drought conditions for Tuvalu’s pop-
ulation of 10,472.
The newly-delivered desalina-
tion unit can produce 50,000 litres of
water a day, and with existing units
will provide the minimum water
requirements on the main island.
An Australian foreign affairs offi-
cial travelled with the desalinisation
plant to monitor its installation and
help assess additional freshwater
CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown
praised this latest example of trans-
Tasman cooperation with New
“This most recent humanitarian
assistance activity demonstrates the
close relationship between the New
Zealand and Australian Defence
Forces,” AIRMSHL Brown said.
“Our interoperability also demon-
strates how our countries can work
quickly to support humanitarian
assistance activities in the region.”
I n Fe br ua r y a nd Ma r c h,
Australian C-17As and C-130s were
used to transport Urban Search and
Rescue workers to Christchurch fol-
lowing that city’s earthquake.
In October 2009, Australia and
New Zealand coordinated our respons-
es to an 8.3 magnitude earthquake (and
resultant tsunami) in Samoa.
FLTLT James Gotch is a 36SQN
pilot who was on the latest mercy
flight to Tuvalu, and said the squad-
ron had been training in New
Zealand prior to the task.
“We were in New Zealand as part
of an adverse terrain and low level
training activity, as there’s some
challenging airfields and conditions
in the South Island,” FLTLT Gotch
“There was low flying of Milford
Sound and some mountain ranges
giving us an appreciation of what the
C-17A can do at low level and judge
how we fly ridge crossings and other
low level flying techniques.”
DEFENCE will look into a possible
replacement for the Caribou aircraft,
which was retired in 2009 after 45
years service to Air Force.
Information will be sought on the
price and availability of the C-27J
Spartan battlefield tactical lift aircraft
after the Australian Government
authorised Defence to issue a non-
binding/no-commitment Letter of
Request to the US.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith
and Defence Materiel Minister Jason
Clare announced the move on October
19 as part of the process to find a
replacement for the Caribou under pro-
ject Air 8000 Phase 2.
The project is looking to acquire up
to 10 new aircraft.
Defence analysis has confirmed
that the C-27J Spartan is an aircraft
that could meet Australia’s battlefield
tactical airlift capability need.
It is operated by the US Air National
Guard, which has a planned total fleet
of 38 aircraft. However, the acquisition
contract of the US Air National Guard
aircraft is coming to an end, requiring
the letter of request to be sent.
Since the retirement of the
Caribous, Australia has had a military
capability gap of fixed wing battlefield
tactical airlift. The gap has been par-
tially met by the Hercules and King Air
aircraft and Army helicopters.
As well as the Spartan, the govern-
ment will look at other options, includ-
ing the Airbus Military C-295 aircraft.
Defence anticipates receiving a
response to the Letter of Request by
For you, Tuvalu
may be on
OPTION: C-27J Spartan.
Photo courtesy Alenia North America
ANOTHER CONTENDER: C-295.
Photo courtesy Airbus Military
FRESH WATER DELIVERY: Local Tuvalu people watch while a RNZAF Hercules returns to
Apia in Samoa after dropping off supplies and NZDF personnel to the small South Pacific
nation; inset, NZDF medics and engineers aboard a 36SQN C-17A along with supplies from
the Red Cross and large containers to hold water. Photos: AC Maria Oosterbaan, NZDF
4 October 27, 2011 RCE AIRF Air Force Improvement
AIR Force Improvement (AFI) is hap-
pening at all levels – from squad-
rons to the Air Force Reform Board
(AFRB), which is chaired by DCAF
AVM Neil Hart.
“The AFRB has been set up to
provide assurance to CAF that our
improvements are benefiting Air
Force and not impacting adversely
on capability, safety or airworthi-
ness,” AVM Hart said.
“I am confident that people
across Air Force are embracing
innovation to implement improve-
“The AFRB is working with our
partners in the Defence Materiel
Organisation, Defence Support
Group, Chief Information Officer
Group and industry to find more
effective and efficient ways of deliv-
ering and sustaining capability,” he
The AFRB is responsible for
ensuring reforms under AFI are
consistent with Air Force’s strategic
At the September AFRB meeting
in Canberra, the board completed
a detailed review of the Air Mobility
Improvement Program, and mem-
bers discussed the challenge of
bringing innovation to a post-Lean
organisation with representatives
from StandardAero, an industry
“Air Force and our industry part-
ners are already embracing Lean,
and while we have more work to do
in this area, we are looking at how
to introduce further improvements
in our workplaces. StandardAero
have similar aspirations and offered
us the benefit of their thinking,”
AVM Hart said.
FLTLT Skye Smith
UNDER the Strategic Reform Pro-
gram, 78WG, along with the Defence
Materiel Organisation (DMO) and
BAE, has achieved a 10 per cent con-
tract savings with a new two-year con-
tract for support to Air Combat Group’s
Hawk lead-in fighters.
The new contract extension is
valued around $150 million and will
result in greater efficiencies in Hawk
Temporary OC 78WG WGCDR
Nick Osborne said that the critical
requirement under the Air Combat
Reform Program (ACRP) was that
capability outcomes were not compro-
mised in achieving cost savings.
“This requires a close working rela-
tionship between BAE as the contrac-
tor, DMO as the supplier and 78WG as
the end-user,” he said.
“We have been working together
to deliver efficiencies for the Hawk
community for a number of years, but
the savings have been realised with the
The ACRP was established under
Commander Ai r Combat Group
AIRCDRE Mel Hupfeld and includes
representatives from the Air Combat
Air Combat Group has partnered
with DMO’s Director General Air
Combat Systems and the Systems
Program Offices within the domain.
AIRCDRE Hupfeld said open
lines of communication and commit-
ment from across all levels of the Air
Combat Domain had led to a number
of successes under the ACRP, includ-
ing the Hawk sustainment contract.
“These cost savings have led
to greater efficiencies and a hap-
pier, more productive workforce,”
AIRCDRE Hupfeld said.
The Hawk sustainment contract
contains measures to define savings
outcomes and capability requirements,
but the key enabler in achieving that
is the model of the Hawk Integrated
Logistics Operations Centre (HILOC).
HILOC is responsible for imple-
menting the goals of a partnering
charter signed by BAE, DMO and Air
WGCDR Osborne said there had
been a surprising cultural shift as
branches worked together to achieve
the best outcome.
“There is a renewed discipline
within 78WG, 76 and 79SQNs, with a
focus on reducing waste and reinvest-
ing savings into capability.”
The transparency between BAE,
DMO and the Air Force is also a
key factor in Hawk sustainment and
“Every week the HILOC reviews
aircraft availability, serviceabil-
ity rates, supply support and fatigue,”
WGCDR Osborne said.
“Once a month the leaders of the
HILOC working groups meet to dis-
cuss major elements for performance
The integrated logistics concept has
achieved great success since its incep-
tion and will now be adopted for the
Classic Hornet sustainment, between
81WG, DMO and BAE.
“Under the ACRP we have seen
major savings, while maintaining
capability and then reinvesting savings
back into the workplace,” WGCDR
“The program’s effectiveness
allows for greater efficiencies and cost
WGCDR Osborne acknowledged
cultural change needs to be driven by
the leadership team for the first year
until the workforce accepts it as “just
the way we do business”.
The Air Force’s 33 Hawks are
operated at 76SQN at RAAF Base
Williamtown and 79SQN at RAAF
in new Hawk
Photo: LS Phillip Cullinan
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Air Force Reform Board members discuss
improvement and innovation with Jim Miller, from StandardAero, at
the September board meeting in Canberra. Photo: LAC Bill Solomou
Ideas for improvement
from bottom to the top
5 October 27, 2011 RCE AIRFF News
EIGHT Hornets arrived at RAAF
Base Pearce on October 20 as part
of the ADF’s contribution to the
massive security effort for the Com-
monwealth Heads of Government
Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth.
A 2SQN Wedgetail and 92WG
AP-3C aircraft joined the Hornets
at Pearce as part of Air Force’s air
CHOGM 2011 was scheduled
to be held from October 28 to 30
and be attended by the Queen and
the Duke of Edinburgh.
The royal couple arrived in
Canberra on October 19 ahead of
The ADF is supporting the
Australian Government’s contri-
bution to the security of CHOGM
with about 1200 personnel and a
range of assets.
In preparation for the event,
counter terrorism, air and maritime
response capabilities conducted
security training and familiarisa-
tion with the Western Australia
Police in and around the Perth met-
ropolitan area from October 8.
Commander of the ADF’s joint
task force RADM David Johnston
said the ADF routinely provided
specialised support to augment the
federal, state, and territory agen-
cies during major events such as
CHOGM, and ADF aircraft were
an integrated part of overall secu-
rity arrangements for this year’s
At the time of going to print,
the Hornets and surveillance air-
craft were scheduled to conduct a
range of training activities in sup-
port of the ADF’s counter-terrorist
and security operations and capa-
bilities between October 24 and 26.
“These [activities] will be
an important component of the
Australian Government’s security
arrangements for CHOGM 2011,”
RADM Johnston said.
“Familiarisation with the local
area is essential for pilots and
The extended training period
would allow the ADF elements of
the security forces to sharpen inter-
agency security-response skills and
ensure they were familiar with the
operating environment should they
be called upon to provide support
“The ADF plays a very impor-
tant role in Australia’s national
security and we are committed to
ensuring the conduct of a safe and
secure CHOGM 2011,” RADM
Full coverage of Air Force’s
involvement in CHOGM in the next
OC 42WG GPCAPT Tracey Friend
said her wing had been look-
ing forward to the Five Power
Defence Agreement (FPDA)
exercise Bersama Lima, which
started on October 17.
“[Bersama Lima] will train
our people for highly complex
maritime and air combat sce-
narios,” she said.
Eight 75SQN Hornets and a
2SQN Wedgetail aircraft joined
assets from the Navy and Army
for the exercise, which is due to
end on November 4.
They joined military forces
from the other four FPDA mem-
ber nations, Malaysia, New
Zealand, Singapore and Britain,
in the exercise which is being
conducted on the Malaysian pen-
insula and South China Sea. All
up, 19 ships, two submarines, 68
aircraft and a range of army and
support elements are taking part.
The aircraft are operating
from the RMAF Base Butterworth
and are being supported by 324
Combat Support Squadron while
Air Lift Group is providing lift
and logistics support.
WHEN the Queen and Prince
Philip landed in Canberra on
a British Airways B777 on
October 19 they were greeted
with a full ceremonial arrival
on the 34SQN tarmac.
34SQN Security Section
and Corporate Air Services,
supported by other 34SQN
personnel, provided security
and coordination of the cere-
monial arrival, which required
the management of nearly
400 members of the public,
90 members of the media,
Australia’s Federation Guard
and nearly 60 officials.
The officials included
Bryce, Prime Minister Julia
Gillard, ACT Chief Minister
Katie Gallagher and CDF GEN
34SQN members were
involved in providing VIP
transport support to the
Queen and Prince Philip on
their subsequent visits to
Brisbane, Melbourne and
Ex Bersama Lima fulfilment at last
LOOKING THEIR BEST: Above, Queen Elizabeth II inspects troops from Australia’s Federation
Guard with the Guard’s CO MAJ John Cottis after arriving at Canberra Airport with the Duke of
Edinburgh, Prince Philip, right inset. Photos: LAC Damrong Chamtaprieo and SGT Bill Guthrie
JOINING THE EFFORT: A 3SQN F/A-18 taxis at RAAF Base Pearce after
arriving for CHOGM. Photo: CPL Chris Moore
Just part of the ADF’s large security contribution
October 27, 2011 RCE AIRF
LS Paul Berry
THERE is no job too hard for the ADF movers
at Kandahar Airfield (KAF) in Afghanistan.
No matter where you need to go, Joint
Movement Control Office section commander
FLGOFF Robert Lahey and his Movement
Control Detachment of four will get you there.
The KAF team plan, schedule and control
personnel and cargo movements from KAF
throughout the MEAO.
FLGOFF Lahey said he and his team worked
long hours to make sure things went smoothly.
“When people are coming over at the start
of their tour or they’re going home or on leave,
it’s generally a stressful time or they’re agitated
about getting home,” FLGOFF Lahey said.
“We always do our best to make sure people
get where they need to go by the easiest, fastest
and most comfortable means.”
FLGOFF Lahey said he enjoyed the variety
and multinational flavour at KAF.
“We spend a lot of time moving coa-
lition troops like the Americans, Slovaks and
Singaporeans,” he said.
“In terms of the number of Australians here
in the MEAO, we make a big contribution in
air movement. That has really stood out for me,
it’s how much we contribute to the effort.”
He said unusual requests and movements
were the most challenging to deal with.
“One day we moved about 80 Slovaks on an
“We had 80 guys who didn’t speak English,
but got them to where they needed to go with-
out any issues.”
LS Paul Berry
TUCKED away in the warehouse precinct
of the ADF’s Middle East headquarters, a
new state-of-the-art medical storage facil-
ity is buzzing with activity.
Pharmacist FLTLT Perlon Leung is
overseeing the space taking shape, as
medical stores are ordered, stocked and
redistributed across the MEAO.
The pharmacist has been a per-
manent fixture in the MEAO for 10
months and the ADF has quickly real-
ised the capability pharmacists bring.
FLTLT Leung, the second pharma-
cist to deploy into theatre, says the new
facility and its subject matter expertise
provides a first port of call for medical
demands and health logistics support to
the forward medical teams.
“Pri or t o a pharmaci st bei ng
deployed we had multiple force ele-
ments frustrated at medical stores being
hidden among all the other classes of
supply. The demands back to Australia
created a burden of backlog and were
remotely managed from Australia,”
FLTLT Leung says.
“We realised there needs to be a
subject matter expert to be the inter-
preter between the supply chain and the
medical teams, because we want to let
them focus on performing their clinical
role to support the mission.
“The regularity of having a pharma-
cist here will also provide training to
deployed members in sustaining the med-
While pharmacists have deployed to
ADF humanitarian aid missions such
as Operation Pakistan Assist II, this is
their first foray into a warlike operation.
“It is definitely a game changer
because there are different health logis-
tics implications in supporting a men-
toring force versus humanitarian aid,
so the setup is quite different. What
remains the same is the dedication to
our patients,” FLTLT Leung says.
Deployed within the Force Support
Unit, FLTLT Leung services all ADF
medical facilities throughout the
MEAO, communicating at least weekly
with the in-theatre medical teams.
“We are able to give them stores
more rapidly than before, leading to bet-
ter demand satisfaction and guiding the
needs of the medical teams and their
patients with less frustration.”
ADF’s smooth movers
NO JOB TOO HARD: Members of the RAAF air load team load pallets on to a
C-17A at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan; inset, Joint Movement Control Office
section commander FLGOFF Robert Lahey (right), and PTE Greg Carr.
Photos: LS Paul Berry
Pharmacist revels in
a rare opportunity
Leung in the
Al Minhad Air
Photo: LS Paul
7 October 27, 2011 RCE AIRFF
As we take a moment to remember the fallen,
the Returned & Services League of Australia (Queensland Branch)
would like to thank all Australian Defence Force personnel for the
Donate at www.rslqld.org
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• SĂůĂƌǇ ŶĞŐŽƚŝĂƚŝŽŶ ĂƐƐŝƐƚĂŶĐĞ
• lƵŶĚĞĚ ďǇ Aul ŝĨ ĞůŝŐŝďůĞ ĨŽƌ C1AS
vŝƐŝƚ ŽƵƌ ǁĞďƐŝƚĞ ĨŽƌ l8LL ũŽď ŚƵŶƚŝŶŐ
ďŽŽŬ͕ ƌĂŶŬ ƚƌĂŶƐůĂƚŝŽŶ ŐƵŝĚĞ Θ ŵŽƌĞ
LS Paul Berry
KEEPING two operational AP-3C
Orions airborne at a near-perfect
launch rate is no mean feat.
Just ask the ‘spider’ mainte-
nance team at Al Minhad Air Base,
which works 24 hours a day, seven
days a week to keep the aircraft on
The Orion detachment reached
20,000 hours of operational flight
time on August 15, but the work
that goes into keeping them air-
borne is equally impressive.
Shift boss FSGT Nick Hanna
said his team took a lot of pride
in the fact they were doing opera-
“The experience and knowledge
of the guys is fantastic,” FSGT
“They just relish the opportu-
nities and challenges to fault-find
problems, because over here we’ve
got no choice but to nut it out our-
selves and the guys pick up a lot of
knowledge from that.”
Most of the maintenance team
are veterans on their second,
third or fourth deployments to the
They regularly work through
temperatures exceeding 45 degrees
Celsius and in withering United
Arab Emirates humidity.
Ai r cr af t t echni ci an CPL
Lincoln Rawlings said it was the
operational job they trained to do.
“We’ve had a couple of high
tempo days when we had three
major scheduled services come up
on a single day, so that was pretty
big,” CPL Rawlings said.
“It takes quite a few hours to
get one done, but we got all three
done in one day. It’s just amazing
to watch guys go ‘right let’s get it
done and let’s have this thing fly-
Senior engineering officer
FLTLT Matthew Durbin said the
team work hard and have accom-
plished something special.
“When you add it up, those
20,000 hours of flying over the
last eight years add up to roughly
half a million maintenance hours,”
FLTLT Durbin said.
FSGT Hanna said the 20,000
hour milestone was a real feather
in their cap.
“I’m sure if you ask any of the
maintainers they will just blow it
off and say ‘well that’s just what
we do,’ but you can see it in their
eyes they’re proud that they have
achieved that milestone,” he said.
PART OF A 24-HOUR-A-DAY JOB: An AP-3C returns to Al Minhad Air Base
from another mission over Afghanistan; left, aircraft technicians FSGT Nick
Hanna (left), SGT Nigel Gilbert (centre), and CPL Tim Brown return from
marshalling the aircraft. Photos: LS Paul Berry
CAN DO ATTITUDE: CPL Lincoln Rawlings ... “It’s just amazing to watch guys
go ‘right let’s get it done and let’s have this thing flying tomorrow’.”
TEAM EFFORT: Right,
aircraft technicians CPL Jesse
Rosengren, SGT Brock Smith and
LAC Aidan Seeley conduct fault-
finding on an AP-3C’s systems
during the night shift.
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8 October 27, 2011 RCE AIRF News
WHEN six Indonesian Air Force
(TNI-AU) members of the RAAF/
TNI-AU Joint Working Group on
Safety and Airworthiness made
their first visit to Australia recent-
ly, co-chair AIRCDRE Tony Jones
was well pleased.
“Our joint working group
on airworthiness has already
achieved some significant results,
including the recent endorsement
of the working group’s terms
of reference by both Air Force
Chiefs,” AIRCDRE Jones said.
“The working group pro-
vides an opportunity for us to
build a stronger relationship with
Indonesia through a better under-
standing of each other’s Air Force
safety and airworthiness and by
working together to improve
The co-chair of the work-
ing group, Air First Marshal
Djamhari, led the TNI-AU team
which joined with their RAAF
counterparts to hold the bian-
nual working group meeting and
participated in a visit program to
learn more about the ADF’s safe-
ty and airworthiness system.
The delegation toured a number
of locations, including RAAF Base
Richmond for a detailed look at
the C-130 safety and airworthiness
programs from the Headquarters
Air Lift Group-level down to the
hangar floor at 37SQN.
They received briefs on the
RAAF’s regulatory and poli-
cy systems during visits to the
Di rect or General Techni cal
Airworthiness in Melbourne
and the Directorate of Defence
Aviation and Air Force Safety
and Directorate of Operational
Airworthiness in Canberra.
AIRCDRE Jones said it was
an excellent visit.
I n r el at ed saf et y act iv-
ity, in 2010, the Roulettes visited
Jakarta and Yogyakarta to con-
duct practice displays with the
TNI-AU’s Jupiter aerobatic team
to enhance the quality of safety of
displays for both countries.
Spitfire wreckage returned
THE remains of FLTLT Henry ‘Lacy’ Smith’s Spitfire
are safely in Australia and are undergoing extensive
cleaning at the RAAF Museum before they undergo
pre-display conservation. The 453SQN aircraft was shot
down on June 11, 1944, during operations in support
of the D-Day landings and crashed into the Orne River
in France. The aircraft and the remains of FLTLT Smith
were exhumed from the river mud after locals found
them in November last year. FLTLT Smith was buried
with full military honours in France in April. Museum
staff and volunteers are presently cleaning the Spitfire’s
remains before desalination and stabilisation is com-
menced. That process is expected to take at least six
months. Full coverage of the work will be reported in
the next edition.
Clearing danger from Rabaul
ADF personnel have joined colleagues from the New
Zealand and Papua New Guinea defence forces to identify,
assess and render safe unexploded ordnance left over
from WWII in and around Rabaul, PNG. A team of about
150 personnel is involved in the operation, which started
on October 18 and is due to end on November 4. The
ADF involvement is being conducted under the terms of
the ongoing Operation Render Safe. The operation will
also clear unexploded ordnance from the Kokoda Track.
Although the ADF has historically conducted explosive
ordnance disposal in the South Pacific, including Kiribati
and the Marshall Islands, Operation Render Safe is the first
enduring operation of its type. In 2009, Operation Render
Safe provided explosive ordnance disposal assistance to
the Solomon Islands.
Major changes to Steyr
ADF members can expect to see major changes to the F88
Austeyr rifle following an announcement of an $8 million
update program. The changes include a new modular
design that reduces the weight and improves the balance
of the weapon, the integration of NATO standard Picatinny
rails to allow for a wide range of attachments to be fitted
to the weapon so it can be reconfigured according to the
mission, and the integration of a grenade launcher attach-
ment and grenade launcher sight into the rifle. The bulk
of the work will be done by the Soldier Systems Centre in
Safety visit a first
Photo: LAC Bill
9 News October 27, 2011 RCE AIRFF
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CLOSER integration of health care
provision to ADF members received
a shot in the arm with the recent in-
troduction of Department of Veterans’
Affairs (DVA) representatives at major
bases around Australia.
The DVA On Base Advisory
Service (OBAS) was launched on
October 1 and will result in the collo-
cation of DVA personnel on more than
35 bases on a full or part-time basis as
The DVA General Manager
Executive Division, MAJGEN Liz
Cosson, said the OBAS initiative was
established as part of the joint ADF/
DVA Support for Wounded, Injured or
Ill Program (SWIIP).
MAJGEN Cosson said OBAS rec-
ognised under the SWIIP initiative
that medical care for a service person
and family required a whole-of-life
approach and Defence and DVA were
connected in this.
“It recognises that military service
is unique and Australian society wants
to make sure we look after those
who make sacrifices to the nation,”
MAJGEN Cosson said.
Graham McBean reports on the closer ties between the ADF
and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to provide ‘whole-of-
life’ medical care to former and serving military personnel.
The internet is a gold mine of ofﬁcial and
credible information. Along with transition
programs such as Stepping Out, informa-
tion packages can give ADF personnel a
head start on ﬁguring out the ‘good oil’
from the ‘snake oil’ on good health and
where to go for further help.
Wellbeing Toolbox. A pilot website at www.
wellbeingtoolbox.net.au was developed as
an online mental-health resource allowing
users to self-assess their needs and work
through a self-management plan. It aims
to facilitate early intervention for those ex-
periencing difﬁculties in their post-military
life and may prevent more serious issues
New booklet. The new Mental Health and
Wellbeing after Military Service booklet
provides information and advice for veter-
ans and former serving personnel and their
families about mental health and wellbeing
following military service. The booklet is
available at www.at-ease.dva.gov.au
Stepping Out. The Veterans and Veterans
Families Counselling Service (VVCS) runs
the Stepping Out program. The free two-day
program was developed for ADF members
and their partners who have recently, or are
about to be, separated from the military.
VVCS can be contacted on 1800 011 046.
At Ease. The At Ease mental health support
internet portal is at www.at-ease.dva.gov.
au. The web portal encourages people to
recognise signs, take appropriate action
and assume more responsibility for their
own health and wellbeing.
The Right Mix. Information and materials
at www.therightmix.gov.au encourages peo-
ple to look at their social habits and make
sure they have The Right Mix with alcohol,
diet and exercise to achieve a healthier and
more enjoyable lifestyle.
It is part of the broader SWIIP
strategy to connect with people
early and avoid them having to work
through what are complex processes
to get the help they need after they
have separated from the ADF.
MAJGEN Cosson said many cur-
rent ADF members didn’t see them-
selves as veterans while they were
Under the OBAS model, per-
sonnel will be referred by medical
staff or be able to make their own
appointment with the DVA repre-
sentatives collocated at Regional
MAJGEN Cosson said the aim
was to educate ADF members that
they could still be clients of DVA and
serving members of the ADF.
“We are encouraging them to make
the connection early and when they
need us in the longer term they have
already established that an injury or
illness is service related.”
The OBAS is one of a range of
new initiatives to support ADF mem-
bers and their families through the
Photo: LACW Nicci Freeman
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FLOOD victims in the Kerang area of
north-western Victoria are $4500 bet-
ter off thanks to the generosity of per-
sonnel and units at RAAF Base Wil-
Townships across the area were
devastated in January by severe flood-
ing caused by torrential rains.
As part of the flood relief activi-
ties, the ADF provided more than 250
full-time and reserve military person-
nel and a number of Defence land and
Fast forward to the long weekend
of October 7-9, and in a show of sup-
port to the communities of the flood-
affected areas, the Australian Army
Band Melbourne performed three
concerts at Swan Hill, Robinvale and
Hundreds turned out to enjoy the
At t he Ker ang concer t on
Oct ober 9, Di r ect or - Gener al
Strategy Planning AIRCDRE Mike
Bennett presented a cheque for
$4500 to the Red Cross Disaster and
Relief Fund. The donations were
a result of the fundraising efforts
at Williamtown, which raised an
The remainder of the funds will be
provided to the Queensland Premier’s
Flood Relief Appeal and Queensland
Royal Society for the Protection of
Cruelty to Animals.
Fundraising activities at the base
included raffles at 77SQN Aircraft
Section and 81WG Avionics and
Aircraft Section, which raised more
than $1000 and $1800 respectively.
3SQN personnel donated a gold
coin in exchange for dressing in
civilian clothing and, combined with
a barbecue and collection, raised
more than $700.
Headquarters Surveillance and
Response Group coordi nat ed a
base-wide collection, which raised
more than $4000, while the Ground
Systems Program Office organised a
number of activities including char-
ity auctions, bowls nights, barbecues,
personal donations, workplace dares
and a raffle. These activities raised a
AIRCDRE Bennett said it was
very rewarding to be able to support
disaster-affected Australian communi-
ties in so many ways.
“It was extremely satisfying for
our Air Force people to be able to pro-
vide such fast and effective disaster
relief to affected Victorian communi-
ties immediately after the Queensland
floods and while maintaining overseas
operations,” AIRCDRE Bennett said.
“It’s one thing for the ADF to pro-
vide immediate relief, but this fund-
raising shows that the dedicated men
and women involved don’t forget
about those who have been affected
after the initial job is done.”
Gold coin donations at the con-
certs netted another $1500 for the Red
a cheque for
in Victoria in
Photos: LS Paul
12 13 RCE AIRFF Centrepiece October 27, 2011
HE Roulettes got to paint the
skies red earlier this month
when they flew displays at
the V8 Supercar race at
Mount Panorama in Bathurst
and the Australian Motorcycle Grand
Prix (MotoGP) at Phillip Island.
The highlight was a flight for
Collingwood footballer Scott
Pendlebury and guest panelist on
Channel 10’s The Circle program,
Colin Lane, on October 10 during a
rehearsal for the MotoGP.
Roulette 7 FLGOFF Richard
Morris said the flight was intended as
a practice for the race as well as an
opportunity for some media exposure
for the team.
Pendlebury flew with Roulette 3,
FLTLT Col Burrows.
The AFL star, who rides a Ducati,
said that flying in the aircraft was
tougher on the body than riding the
The Roulettes revved up their engines to support the V8 Supercar race at Bathurst
and MotoGP at Phillip Island, writes Andrew Stackpool and Karla Robles.
The Gs are a lot more noticeable in the air-
craft and it’s harder on the body...you feel
your stomach hit the ground. – Scott Pendlebury
bike. “It’s different on the bike. Your
head is only 3cm off the ground
when you’re turning on a bike;
you are holding on for dear life,”
“[But] the Gs are a lot more
noticeable in the aircraft and it’s
harder on the body…you feel your
stomach hit the ground.
“You get an appreciation of how
tough it is to fly one…you guys
make it look so easy.”
He said he enjoyed watching
the Roulettes’ aerial display at the
“It’s cool to see the aerial display
knowing I’ve been in the aircraft. I
can say I’ve done that,” he said.
“It was an awesome experience.”
Matching the action on the
ground, the Roulettes once again
proved to be crowd pleasers at the
The race was held from October
14-16, with more than 88,000 fans
The Roulettes final aerial display
was a show stopper, performing a
“The public love to see the mir-
ror and combat [manoeuvres] – it’s
always great to watch,” FLGOFF
Earlier, on October 6, the
Roulettes put on a dazzling 20-min-
ute display over Sydney Harbour,
before heading to Bathurst on the
long weekend of October 7-9.
“We were returning from a tour
of northern NSWand southern
Queensland, based at RAAF Base
Richmond (for the period), and want-
ed to get a photo-shoot over Sydney
Harbour,” FLGOFF Morris said.
“The harbour provided a fantastic
For the photo shoot, the team
deployed a seventh PC-9 and their
SAR helicopter. They flew five
15-minute displays over Mount
Panorama, two each on the Friday
and Saturday and one on the
FLGOFF Morris said the displays
were well received.
“We have a great relationship with
the V8 Supercars, so it was good
to be able to help them out as well,”
he said. “We are looking forward to
While at the MotoGP, the
Roulettes toured Pit Lane while sup-
port staff members FSGT Wayne
Francis and FSGT Dallas Young
visited the Yamaha Racing Team and
compared different aspects of being
‘techos’ in their respective fields.
“It was amazing to see how
motorbikes have become so elec-
tronic and how their support staff are
highly computer-orientated,” FSGT
“Like aviation in the Air Force,
bikes are coming into a new era of
EASY RIDERS: Above, FLTLT Col Burrows (centre) meets Honda Racing
Team’s Jamie Stauffer and Wayne Maxwell during a garage tour at the
MotoGP circuit. Photo: SGT David Grant
GRANDTOUR: Right, Sydney’s iconic landmarks are on show as the
Roulettes fly over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Photo: SGT Shane Gidall
IN PERSPECTIVE: Above, Collingwood’s Scott Pendlebury gets a look at
the MotoGP circuit from a whole new dimension. Photo: SGT Shane Gidall
SIGNING IN: Roulettes FLGOFF Richard Morris (left) and FLTLT Bernie
Gleeson sign autographs for Year 10 students Lisa Ross-Jackson and Jade
Perceval at the MotoGP. Photo: SGT David Grant
Young (left) and
Francis meet with
from the Yamaha
during their visit
to the Phillip
The two sets of
the racing bikes
Photo: SGT David
ROULETTES R US: Right, the
Roulettes go vertical over the
western end of Sydney Harbour;
below, Colin Lane talks to media
before his flight; bottom, FLTLT
Col Burrows presents Scott
Pendlebury with a Roulette patch
while girlfriend Alex Davis looks on.
Photos: SGT Shane Gidall
ON A ROLL: FLTLT Cory Fischer and other team members watch a warm-
up lap at the MotoGP. Photo: SGT David Grant
October 27, 2011 RCE AIRF Cadets
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A WORKING group of former Air
Force cadets who all went on to
enjoy successful careers in the Air
Force is developing a proposal to
form an alumni or ex-cadet associa-
tion to “put back” into the organisa-
tion which gave them their start.
Retired AVM Dave Dunlop, Chair
of the Australian Air Force Cadets
National Council, said an alumni or
association would have a number of
“Apart from facilitating contact
among former cadets and staff it
would provide them with a very worth-
while opportunity to contribute to an
organisation they value,” he said.
An enthusiastic supporter of
the idea is a former member of,
what was then, 210 Flight in
Toowoomba, CAF AIRMSHL Geoff
AIRMSHL Brown, who was a
cadet from 1972-75, grew his love
of flying with a gliding scholarship,
amassing more than 1000 hours of
mainly competition gliding, before
entering the Air Force after gaining
an engineering degree.
“We had a lot of WWII veterans
as instructors in those days, and
while they’ve moved on we have
some pretty professional people,
great volunteers who love working
with cadets, giving up a lot of their
own time to nurture some outstand-
ing young people and fitting them
for life in the community,” AIRMSHL
“A very significant number
of cadets go on to careers in the
ADF, not just Air Force but in all
services, and one of things I’d like
to do as CAF is bring them a little
AIRMSHL Brown, a founda-
tion member of the AAFC Alumni
Association, encouraged people to
contribute to the future of the cadets.
The alumni association proposal
came about as an initiative to help
commemorate the 70
of the AAFC, and its predecessor
ATC and AIRTC.
AVM Dunlop said a group of for-
mer PAF and ex-cadets had scoped
the idea, and realised that they owed
it to themselves to help and encour-
age today’s cadets where they could.
“We all looked back on our time
as cadets and realised what it had
done for us to help us on the path
to our careers, and that it was time
constructively ‘put back,” he said.
He said the alumni initiative was
not just for former cadets but also
the instructors who gave so much of
“The alumni association is not
there to take over the running of the
AAFC, but to assist it where possible,
with funding for special projects,
mentoring and other support where
“It will also facilitate contact
among former cadets and staff, and
keep them abreast of current devel-
opments in the organisation they
were a large part of.
“So I would extend an invitation
to those who remember their time as
cadets, or instructors, with fondness
to visit the alumni website and see if
membership is something they’d be
interested in,” AVM Dunlop said.
The website is www.aafc.org.au/
alumni, or for more information, email
THE Australian Air Force Cadets
(AAFC) marked its 70th anniversary
with a special ceremonial parade at
RAAF Base Williams Laverton on
The parade, which was reviewed
by CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown, a
former cadet, was attended by cadets
from wings and squadrons across
Two other former cadets, VCDF
AIRMSHL Mark Binskin and retired
AIRMSHL David Evans, also attend-
AIRMSHL Brown said he was
honoured to share an important parade
with a group of high-achieving and
very proud young Australians.
“I remember the teamwork and
training of my days in the Air Training
Corps. I did not envisage that one day I
would review a parade of AAFC cadets
in celebration of 70 years as an organi-
sation.” AIRMSHL Brown said.
He thanked the officers and
instructors who volunteered their time
to ensure the cadets had a fulfilling
experience, and the families of the
staff and the cadets for their support.
He then told the cadets that they
had all joined the AAFC for different
“Your time in the cadets will give
you the foundations to succeed and be
a good Australian citizen,” he said.
“The foundations are ambition,
discipline, determination and experi-
ence. The AAFC provides you experi-
ence in the importance of integrity,
teamwork, leadership and treating
“While we reflect on 70 years with
pride, we look forward to an exciting
future. I encourage all staff and cadets
to enjoy their time in the AAFC and
build on 70 years of success, and
work to continue the great experienc-
es that will develop Australia’s leaders
of the future.”
A week earlier, on October 2, 6WG
(AAFC) held a parade on the Torrens
parade ground followed by a march
through the streets of Adelaide in cel-
ebration of the same anniversary.
Director General Air Force Cadets
AIRCDRE Dennis Green reviewed the
parade during which he presented retir-
ing OC 6WG WGCDR (AAFC) Barry
Wright with the wing’s old banner. The
banner had been paraded previously.
Incoming OC WGCDR (AAFC)
Peter Gill then handed over the new
banner to the colour party and it was
paraded in turn.
The Aust ral i an Army Band
Adelaide led the cadets on the march.
AUSTRALIAN Air Force Cadets
took their 70th anniversary to new
heights when they conducted their
annual national flying competition
in powered aircraft and gliders
at RAAF Base Williams.
The event comprised a training
camp for 100 cadets drawn from all
wings around Australia, a dinner
and a parade.
Their premier aviation event
was held from October 7 to 9.
The competition included flying
skills, advanced aircraft handling,
circuit operations and landing, and
WGCDR (AAFC) Mark
Dorward, from 2WG (AAFC),
said many of the young pilots were
ineligible to drive a car but had
attained first solo status as pilots.
“The competition provides an
opportunity for these highly moti-
vated young people to showcase
their skills and share a united pas-
Salute to 70 years
Alumni plan hopes to connect former and present cadets
sion for aviation with their peers
from all over Australia,” WGCDR
“This is the pinnacle of the
aviation training program in the
“The competition will challenge
the flying and airmanship skills of
the cadets, with each cadet special-
ly selected to represent their wing.
“These are the best and brightest
of our next generation of aviators.”
Each of them competed in
their chosen discipline and were
assessed by qualified flying
instructors. They competed for the
Dux of Gliding, Dux of Powered
Flying, the Rawdon Middleton VC
Trophy for the cadet with the high-
est motivation and drive to succeed,
and the Qantas Cup awarded to the
best AAFC Wing.
The competition had a special
guest on October 8.
He was former member of
22SQN Air Training Corps and
Air Force pilot Dennis Blandy who
trained under the Empire Training
Scheme before WWII before being
posted to an operational training
unit in Egypt, flying reconnais-
sance Baltimore aircraft over the
He is still a qualified pilot.
Flying competition takes off for 100
READY TO FLY:
of Perth, and
Photo: WOFF Don
OUR BRIGHT FUTURE: CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown salutes members of the AAFC as they march past at Laverton. Inset, 6WG cadets perform a
General Salute before marching on the old 6WG banner at Torrens parade ground in Adelaide. Photos: WOFF Don Kenny, LACW Nicci Freeman
15 Flightline October 27, 2011 RCE AIRFF
overlay on the
at Korat Air
on the nose
of an F/A-
waiting for the
REFLECTING ON A BUSY TRIP:
Above, avionic technician CPL David
Wilkins and his 77SQN colleagues
participated in air combat training
exercises Thai Boomerang and Elang
Ausindo in September, strengthening
ties with the Royal Thai Air Force and
the Indonesian Air Force.
Photos: LAC Craig Barrett
ALL SMILES: Above, avionic technician LAC
Lee O’Regan inspects an F/A-18 during Exercise
Elang Ausindo. Right, logistics officer FLTLT Alissa
Bocking during a visit to the Thailand Children’s
Home at Korat while on Exercise Thai Boomerang.
HELPING HANDS: Above, 77SQN aircraft life support
fitters CPL Symon Brady, front, and CPL Matthew
Domjahn make sure all of the pilots’ flying gear is
serviceable during Exercise Elang Ausindo.
ACROSS THE RADIO
WAVES: 77SQN ops
clerk LACW Jenna
Spinella monitors the
radio in the operations
room at Korat Air
Base in Thailand
during Exercise Thai
Focus on 77SQN
LOOK HERE: Left,
technician LAC Andrew
Nash shows medical
Theresa Armstrong, of
3EHS, the cockpit of an
F/A-18 during Exercise
Defence is concerned about the impact to the health of current and
former ADF members and APS employees who may have been
exposed to asbestos in the course of their Defence employment.
Current serving and former ADF members, and APS employees, who
believe they may have been exposed to asbestos and would like to have
their asbestos-related medical status evaluated are encouraged to contact:
1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362)
and register with the Defence Asbestos Exposure Evaluation Scheme.
More information can be located at:
or Defence Intranet
Defence Asbestos Exposure
Phone: 07 5531 5692/0417 780 961
Gateway to National Parks
and the Top End
Phone: 08 8981 9283
Magic Mountain Family Recreation Park
Yellow Pinch Wildlife Park
Whale watching cruises (Sep to Nov)
Jazz festival (June long weekend)
Phone: 02 6495 2030
Why not try one of the
apartments in one of three
16 October 27, 2011 RCE AIRF Flightline
SPECIAL VISIT: Above, 37SQN’s FLGOFF
Justin Della-Bosca shows a young local the
cockpit of a C-130 during its recent visit to
Gilgandra. The aircraft called in to the town on
October 4 during a training flight.
Photo: LAC David Said
LEST WE FORGET: Right, members of the
Cotterell family plant a tree in honour of former
SQNLDR Mal Cotterell who died on August 5,
1991, in a PC-9 crash while instructing CFS.
The service was held in the Memorial Gardens
at RAAF Base East Sale. Photo: AC Oliver Carter
KEEP THE MEMORY ALIVE: Left, LACW
Robynne Talbot-Scobie (left) and CPL Jane
Williams from the Hunter Business Centre at
Raymond Terrace near Newcastle recently
turned out to help raise money for Legacy.
17 History October 27, 2011 RCE AIRFF
NOELEAN (Kim) Best was born
36 days after her father, FSGT Noel
Charlton, was killed in a Dakota acci-
dent in Canberra in 1957.
With no siblings and her mother
dying just five years after the acci-
dent, Mrs Best knew little of her
More than 50 years later, she set
out to rectify that by learning more
about the tragic accident that claimed
Luckily, several former and serv-
ing members came to her aid.
“While researching, I came across
David Street, who served with my dad
[in 38 Transport Squadron] and who
had been a close friend,” she said.
“David had placed his profile on
a website called Airman Aircrew and
he suggested I submit a profile of dad.
“ Th e we b ma s t e r , La n c e
Haslewood, a former loadmaster, cre-
FORTY years after the RAAF’s
involvement in the Vietnam War
ended and 35SQN’s final four Cari-
bous arrived home at RAAF Base
Richmond, an anniversary is set to
be marked with a reunion.
The RAAF Transport Flight
Vietnam (RTFV)-35 Squadron
Association in Brisbane is inviting
anyone who served with the units
and/or their family members to
attend the reunion on February 26
35SQN was the last RAAF unit
out of Vietnam.
Its arrival home on February 26,
1972, ended an eight-year vital logis-
tic support mission by the squadron.
The involvement began in early
1964 when the Australian govern-
ment decided to deploy an air trans-
port unit to assist with the war effort.
A number of Caribous were
being delivered to Australia from
Canada, so three of these were
diverted to South Vietnam via
Butterworth. They would become
the RAAF’s first unit in Vietnam.
The RTFV arrived at Vung Tau
on August 8, 1964, and became
widely known in South Vietnam
as Wallaby Airlines, after the air-
Under the operational com-
mand of the US Air Force, the
group comprised six officers, seven
SNCOs and six airmen, under
the command of SQNLDR Chris
Its first operational flight took
place on August 14. Other Caribous
followed and on June 1, 1966,
RTFV was renamed 35 (Transport)
During its service, about 790
personnel served with the unit,
which flew about 81,000 sorties
across South Vietnam over 40,000
hours. Wallaby Airlines carried
680,000 passengers and 46 million
kilograms of cargo.
Other missions included para-
troop airdrops, flare drops (to illu-
minate the landscape for ground
forces) and medical evacuations.
Over the eight years, a number
of aircraft were lost or badly dam-
aged but in its entire service the
squadron didn’t lose a member.
The reunion will include a
range of ceremonial and social
activities and visits.
Anyone requiring further infor-
mation and to register their interest
in attending is asked to complete an
online form at www.rtfv-35sqn.org
and follow the link to the reunion.
For more information, contact president
John McDougall on (07) 3376 2994,
0488 025527 or sueandcilla@hotmail.
com, or secretary John Sambrooks,
(07) 3851 0624, 0408 872 376 or
ated a fine profile of my dad on the
Ms Best told Mr Haslewood that
she had no mementoes of her father’s
service. Mr Haslewood immediately
set out to rectify that.
“Under the radar, he made a large
wooden plaque set with RAAF badges
and crests and, most remarkably, a
genuine pilot’s brevet, of the same
type my dad received on graduation,”
Commander Combat Support
Group AIRCDRE Noddy Sawade
donated the brevet, along with a sec-
ond brevet which Lance had inscribed
with FSGT Charlton’s name and ser-
“This memento is a unique tribute
to my father and, together with his
Airman Aircrew profile, is meaning-
ful recognition of his brief term of
“Without Airman Aircrew and
Lance, I could never have come this
far in my journey to find my dad,” Ms
FSGT Charlton enlisted in 1954
and graduated from No. 18 pilot’s
course in 1955.
He posted as a co-pilot to 38
Transport Squadron, based at RAAF
Canberra (later RAAF Base Fairbairn)
in the ACT.
About 8.22pm on the evening of
March 19, 1957, he was the co-pilot
aboard Dakota A65-112, which was
on standby for search and rescue
The other crewmembers were
the captain, FLGOFF Hector Neil
Macdonald, navigator SGT Ian
Mackrill and wireless operator SGT
Under normal procedures the crew
used their time to practise night flying
and had carried out three take-offs and
landings without incident.
The aircraft lifted off for the fourth
circuit but when it was about 30m
from the ground, the port engine suf-
fered a catastrophic failure as the pro-
peller started to over-speed.
FLGOFF Macdonald immediately
feathered the propeller, which should
have taken about 10 to 15 seconds.
However, the drive gear to the con-
stant unit had failed and feathering
took 30 seconds or more.
FLGOFF Macdonald was con-
cerned that the crippled aircraft would
not clear the terrain. Worse, because
of the engine failure, it was almost
impossible for the aircraft to climb.
He took the only option avail-
able and turned back towards the
aerodrome as he hoped to conduct
an emergency landing in paddocks
south of it but also needed to clear
the inhabited areas of Campbell and
He turned the aircraft, which
was now in real danger from Mount
Pleasant, which rises above Duntroon.
He passed over the built-up areas,
but, heading east back towards the air-
port and, still trying to climb to avoid
the mountain, the Dakota stalled.
It crashed into Duntroon, narrowly
missing some married quarters and
exploded into flames. None of the
crew survived and the aircraft was
almost completely destroyed.
The Airman Aircrew website can be
accessed at www.airmanaircrew.com
Filling in a tragic story
GLORIOUS PAST: Above, SGT Dave East, a 38SQN
flight engineer, looks over a wall of clippings from the
then RAAF News featuring the Caribous’ long service to
Australia. They were part of the RAAF’s first unit in Vietnam
in early 1964 when the Australian Government decided
to deploy an air transport unit to assist with the war effort.
Then they were the last to leave in 1972. Photo: AC David Said
WALLABY AIRLINES: Left, RAAF A4 DHC 4 Caribou
crews return to Vung Tau in South Vietnam.
Photo courtesy RAAF Museum
Marking return from Vietnam
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October 27, 2011 RCE AIRF
SGT Peter Lawrence
WOFF David White
LAC Derek North
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FLTLT Darren Cooper
Remuster to CISCON, ADG,
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AIR Force is investigating ways to attract, increase
and retain the number of indigenous men and women
in the service and wants mentors to assist and support
them settle into service life.
Recognising that indigenous Australians were
under-represented in the service, CAF tasked
DGPERS-AF with increasing participation rates for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) peoples.
DGPERS-AF initiated a new strategy, Our Place,
Our Skies, which will develop a range of initiatives,
aimed significantly at increasing the attraction, par-
ticipation and retention in the Air Force of indig-
enous peoples by 2015.
WGCDR Barb Wells, from the Directorate of
Workplace Flexibility and Diversity under DGPERS-
AF, said there would be a strong focus on opportuni-
ties to increase the skills and educational qualifica-
tions for ATSI peoples who seek Air Force careers.
She said DGPERS-AF recognised that while most
new starters in the military experience some degree
of culture shock, the effects are likely to be magni-
fied for those with different cultural origins.
“The commitment of some Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islanders to serve may be challenged by the
need for a work-life balance borne from their unique
cultural heritage,” WGCDR Wells said.
“The inherent obligations to family and commu-
nity may require a high level of understanding and
support, particularly during their early career stages.”
She said one way of providing support was
“Mentors draw on their own experiences and
knowledge to provide relevant guidance and advice.
By generating trust and respect through open and
honest communication, good mentors can provide
strong and lasting guidance,” she said.
“The results should lead to positive employment
experiences and outcomes for those being mentored,
and will also provide insight and understanding to
mentor, too. It’s about relationships, where all parties
gain from the experience.”
Mentors do not need to be indigenous; their pri-
mary role will be to provide support and offer profes-
“Guidance and support from management
can be crucial in supporting the role of mentors.
Furthermore, managers who are seen to be active-
ly supportive and respectful of indigenous culture
will influence the attitudes of other workers in the
organisation and thus encourage good peer support,”
WGCDR Wells said.
Any member interested in mentoring an indigenous
member, should email WGCDR Wells at barbara.wells@
MAKING FRIENDS: WGCDR Barb Wells, left, talks with another attendee at
a recent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders conference in Canberra.
FOLLOWING the release of the
new Work Health and Safety Act,
a new learning program, the Work
Health and Safety (WHS): Your
Responsibility eLearning program is
available on Campus.
The program is designed to
inform Defence people about the Act
and its implications on Defence and
All Senior Executive Service and
star-ranked military officers will
need to complete the course and
commanders, managers and supervi-
sors are encouraged to complete it,
particularly if they may become duty
holders in the future.
The program was released before
Safety Day on October 26 to assist
groups and services who wanted
their people to become educated
about the new Act.
For Defence personnel without
DRN access, or the ability to log
on to Campus, a stand-alone ver-
sion program will be available by
To request a copy, email ohsc.
New e-learning program
Feature RCE AIRFF October 27, 2011
F THE Air Force’s motto Per
Ardua Ad Astra (through strug-
gle to the stars) had a human
face, SQNLDR Lisa Jackson
Pulver would be a close represen-
SQNLDR Jackson Pulver over-
came social prejudice and discrim-
ination, a lack of formal education,
poverty and a troubled home life
to become Chair of Indigenous
Health and Professor of Public
Health at the University of
“I wanted to become a
brain surgeon, with no idea of
what that meant or how to
go about getting there, and
to join the Air Force,” she
said at the opening of the
earlier this year.
She believed things
could be different and
could see no reason
why she should not be.
“Nothing like a
challenge,” she said.
Pulver’s father enlisted
in the RAAF early in
WWII and became
aircrew. He fought in
the European, South
Pacific and New
Guinea theatres and
she believed he had
been shot down.
He had returned
home with Post
Disorder (not known
about then) and this had
a major impact on the
“We were also quite poor, and
there was little around me that
suggested people ‘like us’ made
it out of poverty or did anything
“I went to an all-girls public
school that really did not care
about us. I was also from a ‘bro-
ken’ home, with a history of police
and welfare visits.”
Despite these conditions,
SQNLDR Jackson Pulver believed
things could be different.
When she was 13, a vocational
guidance person visited her class
and the teachers made all the girls
move into groups, depending on
what they wanted to be – nurses,
mothers, teachers, stenographers/
The person asked Lisa what she
wanted to be.
“A brain surgeon,” she replied.
One of the teachers pushed
her into the nurses group, saying:
“people like you don’t become
brain surgeons or anything else
She saw that as a challenge. As
soon as she could, she left school
and ran away from home, ending
up in Sydney.
She enrolled in a nursing
course and became a nurse at
No keeping this
Eventually, she became a regis-
tered nurse and tried to enlist in the
Air Force, only to be told that the
ADF was not recruiting nurses.
Further courses followed
over the years, until finally – and
despite never having matriculated
– she entered into a medical degree
at Sydney University, and pro-
gressed through a Master in Public
Health degree and finished gaining
a PhD in medicine.
“I had that nursing qualification
– and my sense that I could step
out of the low expectations of the
teachers at school,” she said.
By now, she was more than 40
years old but felt there was still
something missing in her life.
“I wanted to serve my country,
and although I had now achieved
something in my life, I wanted so
much to be in uniform.”
Her application was success-
ful and she commissioned as a
“We have many Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander people across
the ADF,” SQNLDR Jackson Pulver
said. “During every conflict and
humanitarian crisis, they are there
– serving alongside [the other ser-
vicemen and women].
“Being in Defence is really
about being a member of a family
– just as we are in our Aboriginal
families and communities.
“Since the early days, Defence
has provided our women and men
with a life of service, responsibil-
ity, commitment and camaraderie
with little or no room for racism,
despite the prejudice and dis-
crimination endemic in Australia’s
social and political history.
“There is only one skin that
matters when you serve – the uni-
form of your service.”
reservist SQNLDR Lisa
Jackson Pulver refused
to settle for second
best, writes Andrew
orce’s motto Per
tra (through strug-
rs) had a human
DR Lisa Jackson
e a close represen-
ackson Pulver over- r
judice and discrim-
of formal education,
roubled home life
r of Indigenous
fessor of Public
with no idea of
or how to
ng of the
so quite poor, and
around me that
le ‘like us’ made
SQNLDR Lisa Jackson Pulver,
left, and above with uncle Harry
Allie; inset, WOFF Harry Allie
during his days in the Air Force.
HARRY Allie, who is pictured
left with SQNLDR Lisa Jackson
Pulver, is no stranger to the Air
Force. He proudly served for 23
The former WOFF Harry Allie
joined in 1966 and discharged
He was born in Charters
Towers, Queensland, a descend-
ant of the Gudjul Tribal Group
who were the traditional owners
in that area.
After working for the Post
Master General’s department, he
was inspired to join the services
by his relatives who had served
“I enlisted because I needed a
challenge,” Mr Allie said.
WOFF Allie served in a wide
range of postings, including
RAAF Bases Edinburgh, Wagga,
East Sale, Amberley, Laverton,
Townsville and Butterworth.
Other postings included to
McLellan Air Force Base in the
US for the ferry of the F-111s
back to Australia and second-
ment to the Air Training Corps
His final years were with the
RAAF Support Unit in Sydney.
In 1972 he was awarded
a Certificate of Outstanding
Service for his tour at East Sale.
In 1980 he was awarded the
British Empire Medal for dedi-
cated and conspicuous service
during his posting to the RAAF
Publications Unit at Laverton.
He said his career was impor-
tant for many reasons. He had
gained a lot and achieved a tre-
mendous amount of self esteem.
It also gave him the opportunity
to speak with indigenous people
who were interested in seeking
a career in the services, particu-
larly the Air Force.
“I have no hesitation in
encouraging young people to
join the services; the path has
been laid by many of our people
who have served our country
in many theatres of operations
throughout the world in a coura-
geous and loyal manner,” he
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02 6123 2930
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20 October 27, 2011 RCE AIRF Training
Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service
A service founded by Vietnam veterans
Supporting Australia’s veterans, peacekeepers
and their families
VVCS provides counselling and support services to Australian veterans, peacekeepers, eligible members
of the Defence Force community and their families, and F-111 Fuel Tank Maintenance workers and their
partners and immediate family members. VVCS is a specialised, free and conﬁdential Australia-wide
VVCS can provide you with:
• Individual, couple and family counselling including case management services
• After-hours crisis telephone counselling via Veterans Line
• Group programs including Anger Management, Depression, Anxiety, Lifestyle Management and Heart
• Support on transition from military to civilian life, including The Stepping Out Program
• Information, self-help resources and referrals to other services.
We can help you work through issues such as stress, relationship, family problems and other lifestyle
issues as well as emotional or psychological issues associated with your military service.
If you need support or would like more information
about us please give us a call or visit our website.
1800 011 046*
* Free local call. Calls from mobile
and pay phones may incur charges.
LAC Bill Solomou
AWAKENING to screams and negoti-
ating for your life sounds like a night-
mare, but it was all too real for 38
international and ADF officers when
they participated in Exercise Blue
Flag from September 12-16.
The members were taking part
in the practical phase of the United
Nations Military Observer Course,
conducted by the Peace Operations
It was held at the Australian
Federal Police Training facility at
Majura Park in Canberra.
Members were taught the fine art
of radio and telephone procedures,
hostage survival, 4x4 vehicle opera-
tion and navigation skills.
As part of the training, members
were dragged out of their beds, taken
out of their comfort zone and put to
Combined with the three-week
theory phase held at RAAF Base
Williamtown – which included sub-
jects such as identifying the traits
of observers and learning about UN
policies in relation to sexual abuse
and human rights law – members
were prepared to deploy as UN
Participants came from 15 coun-
tries, including Indonesia, Vietnam,
Thailand, Pakistan and Nigeria,
with instructors from various coun-
tries including Germany, Indonesia,
Malaysia and the Chinese People’s
International students under-
took an extra week of training at
the Defence International Training
Centre in Melbourne where they
were taught Australian history, lan-
guage and culture.
Course organiser MAJ Matthew
Finnerty said the course was well struc-
tured and, in conjunction with the AFP
training focus, was well received by the
“Our course is unique; we stand
out from other similar courses that
are run around the world because we
have a majority of international stu-
dents,” MAJ Finnerty said.
“We maintain a two-third/one-
third ratio – two third international
and one third ADF tri-service.”
The course is UN-sponsored
and owned and is a requirement for
members seeking to deploy as UN
One of the course participants,
ADFA divisional officer FLTLT Sa-
rah Jackson, said she thoroughly
enjoyed the experience and
especially the interaction between
“I found this exercise to be
extremely beneficial, not only from
a personal development perspec-
tive. It gave me the opportunity to
learn and deal with other cultures
and people from other countries,”
“I really enjoyed the practi-
cal phase, in the classroom you
get to learn the theory but it’s not
until you start doing the practical
part of the course that you get
to experience what it is to be an
FLTLT Jackson hopes she will
be selected to deploy, to one of the
16 countries in which the UN has
Fulfilling course, but bring on the real thing
STEPPING STONE: FLTLT Sarah Jackson, of ADFA, who participated in the United Nations Military
Observer course. Photo: LAC Bill Solomou
Air Force events
October 29: RFDS Base Open
Day, Port Augusta airport
October 30: Spring Festival,
November 5: 5th Catalina Festival,
November 6: Barossa
October 27: Hawker area
October 29: Port Augusta
RFDS Base Open Day
November 11: Telopea Park School Fete, Canberra
November 11: Marymead Fete, Canberra
November 6: State RSL
November 6: Sandown
Historic Motor Racing
November 11: Remembrance Day, Melbourne CBD
November 11: Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital
Air Force Band
October 28: RAAF Base
Mess Spring Ball.
October 29: RAAF Base
Glenbrook Officers’ Mess
November 9: The RAAF
Legal conference dinner at
RAAF Base Williams.
To confirm dates and timings on Air Force Band
events, contact FSGT Paul Gunning on (03) 9256
HIRTY minutes of physi-
cal activity each day is
the key to staying in
shape – all it takes is a
commitment to creating healthy
habits such as walking, cycling or
jogging instead of driving.
Would you like to know another
secret? Don’t think of physical fit-
ness as a chore.
Choose an activity you enjoy
because then you’re more likely to
continue doing it. In the long run,
tackling your weight problems will
not only benefit you but also your
family and ADF career.
According to Joint Health
Command’s Director of Military
Medicine, GPCAPT Graeme Peel,
the prevalence of obesity in the
ADF has remained a health issue.
In response to this, a new pilot
program, conducted in conjunction
with Weight Watchers, is being tri-
alled at three Sydney-based Defence
GPCAPT Peel said the pro-
gram’s impact on the ongoing health
management of ADF members was
“Preliminary indications are that
members are finding the Weight
Watchers service effective in man-
aging a healthy diet,” he said.
A Defence member is classified
as obese if their Body Mass Index
(BMI) exceeds 30.
Once a member is deemed obese
they receive support and counselling
on physical activity, diet and other
lifestyle modifications from ADF
and contracted health staff.
However, GPCAPT Peel said
the classification system – with
ratings of ‘underweight’ (<18.5),
‘normal’ (18.5-24.9), ‘overweight’
(25.0-29.9), ‘obese’ (30.0-34.9), and
‘extreme obesity’ (>40) – did not
completely reflect individual fitness
He said the BMI classification
was actually designed to indicate
the risk of disease.
“Some ADF members are only
technically obese, that is, while
they exceed a BMI of 30, they have
significant muscle bulk as opposed
“Changes to Defence health
policy and guidance are under way
to reflect the need to enhance the
measurement of body fat to better
target those members who need
greater support from Defence to
reduce their weight.
“Members are referred to a dieti-
cian to provide further specialist
assessment and management.”
For selected members, weight
control medication may also be pre-
scribed under the supervision of a
“Physical conditioning pro-
grams are tailored to the member’s
requirements and their progress is
monitored,” he said.
“The member’s unit must also
ensure time is made available dur-
ing the duty day for the member to
For more information on the support
Defence offers its members in relation
to obesity refer to Health Directive No
206, Amendment No 4 on the DRN
21 Health October 27, 2011 RCE AIRFF
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your family or colleagues may struggle to cope with
some of the many challenges that arise.
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Take the right steps
Making a habit of doing extra physical activity
will not just help you, but also help the ADF get
into shape. CPL Melanie Schinkel reports.
EASY STEPS TO HEALTHY HABITS
ACCORDING to the Department
of Health and Ageing, Australian
adults can implement four simple
steps to achieve better health.
➤ Step 1: Any form of movement
should be seen as a chance to
improve your health, not as a time-
➤ Step 2: Be active every day in
as many ways as you can. Make a
habit of walking or cycling instead of
using the car, or doing things your-
self instead of using labour-saving
➤ Step 3: Put together at least 30
minutes of moderate-intensity physi-
cal activity on most, preferably all,
days. Accumulate your 30 minutes
(or more) throughout the day by
combining a few shorter sessions of
activity of around 10 to 15 minutes
➤ Step 4: If you can, also enjoy
some regular, vigorous activity for
extra health and fitness. This step
does not replace steps one to three,
rather it adds an extra level for those
who are able and wish to achieve
greater health and fitness benefits.
For more information on how to
maintain a healthy weight, visit
PEOPLE believe flattery will get you everywhere, well, in
my case it has put an extra spring in my step.
I have recently been approached by numerous
members who I had never met before, and they compli-
mented me on my achievements.
One came up to me after he had been on a run and
mentioned that he was following the campaign.
He said the ‘Join Bill Campaign’ had inspired him to
It was great to actually meet
one of the many members of
the campaign and to see the
results they have achieved.
Many have provided me
with training tips, weight-loss
ideas, and general information
For example, a member
recently informed me he was cutting out all sugar from
his diet. He had researched the concept and, after two
weeks, was already losing weight.
The consensus on training is you need to have a car-
dio element in your routine. You need to get your heart
rate up to the fat burning zone.
As we come into the last few weeks of the campaign,
I encourage members undertaking their own weight-loss
campaigns to send emails letting me know how you are
We hope to publish readers’ comments in the next
couple of editions of the newspaper.
I still have a long way to go, but my motivation has
received a kick along and the journey continues.
Email Bill at vasilis.solomou@defence news.gov.au
Bill blogs on ... a
flood of support
GO THE EXTRA
MILE: Choose a daily
activity that you are
going to enjoy, like
walking, running or
riding, rather than
heavy exercise that
will become a chore.
Photo: LAC Bill Solomou
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22 October 27, 2011 RCE AIRFF Sp rt
FLTLT Shane Taylor joined forces
with Army’s CPL Michael Hernan
to finish second in the male pairs
category at the Scott Australian 24-
hour mountainbike (MTB) champi-
onships in Canberra on October 8
Both men are better known as
solo riders and it took them a while
to get used to riding together.
But it was well worth the effort,
FLTLT Taylor said.
“Racing a pair certainly isn’t
as tough as a solo but it does bring
with it a whole new set of chal-
lenges,” FLTLT Taylor said.
“Getting out of the chair when
you are all rugged up and warm
is pretty tough at 5am when the
mountain is at its coldest but the
ability to smash down a bacon-
and-egg roll in between stints is
FLTLT Taylor and CPL Hernan
were the most successful of a big
ADF roll-up at the event, which
attracted 2500 competitors to Mt
The ADF had riders in solo,
teams in pairs, sporty 4s and teams
of mixed 6s.
CPO Mark Astley finished 10th
in the open men’s solo category
and ADFA A finished 24
male team of four section.
The best-performed Air Force
endurance bike rider, CPL Michael
Crummy, got a very different view
of the race.
He chose not to ride because
his focus is on a 24-hour race
in Sydney in December so he
came to help out a 37SQN team
of four (CPL Matthew Spriggs,
CPL Robert Schneider, LAC
Allan Dawson and a ring-in from
37SQN, CPL Brad Clearwater).
CPL Crummy also provided
support for a range of ADF teams
and in particular CPO Astley in
the solo category (CPL Crummy’s
ex-Navy himself) and lent his
extensive experience in the tech-
nical, psychological, nutritional
and physiological aspects of ultra
“There was a great turnout of
ADF MTBers, with many mem-
bers travelling interstate to com-
pete,” CPL Crummy said.
“From the transition and event
centre you didn’t have to look hard
to see either a couple of green
11x11 tents or an ADCC marquee
in the multiple camping areas.”
At t ent i on at Mt St r oml o
now turns to the ADF MTB
Championships which will be held
there from November 7 to 10.
SGT Dale Canning has
been recognised for his
surf life saver skills and
dedication, reports FLTLT
GT Dale Canning calls it just
another day at the office. But
the two tourists he helped
rescue last year might have a
different perspective on it.
SGT Canning, of 81WG, has
been named Surf Life Saver of the
Year for the Fingal Beach Surf Life
Saving Club (SLSC) in Newcastle
where he is IRB (inflatable rescue
boat) captain, patrol captain and a
senior life saver.
His final patrol of last year still
sticks in his mind. He was called
in to help a couple of tourists from
overseas who were attempting to
cross a headland and got caught by
the rising tide.
“The danger for them was that
they weren’t strong swimmers, the
swell was rising and the danger of
being pushed back or slipping onto
the rocks could have caused some
real damage,” he recalls.
SGT Canning helped them off the
rocks while standing in chest deep
water with incoming surf hitting him.
“I had to move them to the res-
cue jet ski that would make a run in
between swells and put them on the
skid before taking them to the safety
of the beach.”
That’s obviously the dramatic
side to his contribution to the club,
but the award goes much deeper
SGT Canning did 22 additional
voluntary patrol hours to his rostered
patrol during the year and as IRB
captain helped improve and maintain
equipment, got himself involved in
fundraising and social events, and was
integral in providing water safety for
Nippers and carnivals held at Fingal.
This is SGT Canning’s fourth
season with the Fingal Beach SLSC,
having joined in 2008.
He started surf life saving about 24
years ago at Soldiers Beach Surf Life
Saving Club on the Central NSW Coast
before joining the Air Force in 1990.
SGT Canning was drawn to surf
in the sun
life saving for the chance to do
something totally different and to
row surf boats with his mates.
He was humbled to receive the
Fingal Beach SLSC award.
“Just like I do in my RAAF job I
was just doing what I thought need-
ed to be done and helped out where
and when I could.
“To be recognised and thought
of in that manner by people I’ve
only known for such a relatively
short period of time in such a way
blew me away. I don’t do things
for trophies, awards or recogni-
tion; I just like being part of the
SGT Canning is posted to RAAF
READY TO RESPOND: SGT Dale Canning at the beach where he does his tireless work. Photo: LAC Craig Barrett
Base Richmond next year, but is
looking forward to coming home to
Newcastle and continuing his role
within the club.
“It’ll be harder this season with
the posting to Richmond, but I will
still fulfil the same roles as the pre-
vious seasons within the club as I
will travel home on weekends.”
CPL Angela Wiseman, of
RAAF Base Williamtown,
won the ADF bodybuilding
women’s title in Darwin,
on October 2. SGT Diane
Beningfield, of RAAF Base
Darwin, finished second
and SGT Greg Brown,
of RAAF Base Tindal,
finished second in the
men’s championship. CPL
Wiseman also won the
Miss Northern Territory
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23 October 27, 2011 RCE AIRFF Sp rt
A TEAM dominated by Air Force
players was too strong for their Army
and Navy counterparts at the NSW
inter-service basketball competition.
Held at Randwick Barracks over
two days in September, the Air Force
women took out all three games
against the Navy and Army combined
The winning team was made main-
ly of Air Force members, with one
Coach FLTLT Janeter Turnbull said
the competition was fierce.
“By mixing the teams up a little we
were able to raise the standard of the
women’s games to a level I haven’t seen
in inter-service [competition] for over a
decade,” FLTLT Turnbull said.
To p s c o r e r LACW Ka t e
Johnst on’s sharp shoot i ng wi t h
a total of 68 points helped the Air
Force team to overcome their rivals,
winning the first game 56-35, the
second game 40-30 and the third
“If player standards at inter-service
are anything to go by, NSW will defi-
nitely be championship contenders for
201,” FLTLT Turnbull said.
They won’t have to wait long to
test that theory, as the Australian
Defence Basket bal l Associ at i on
combined services national compe-
tition will be held at RAAF Base
Williamtown from November 26 to
The Williamtown Men’s Air Force
Basketball team also walked away as
champions at the NSW inter-service
The men’s divi si on consi st -
ed of Navy, Army, RAAF Bases
Williamtown and Richmond and
a pool team of both Air Force and
The top two teams in the round
r obi n comp, Wi l l i amt own and
Richmond, played each other in the
Williamtown won the final 43-30.
Richmond’s LAC Ash Condon
and AC Adrian Duran were equal
top scorers with 14 points each and
Williamtown’s SGT Glen Solomon
and LAC Kevin O’Sullivan scored 10
points each. LAC Condon top-scored
over the tournament with 71 points.
Air Force women (with a little help from a friend) tie up NSW basketball title
CPL Zenith King
FLTLT Georgina Lowe did
not rest on her laurels after
she led the women home
in the 1.17km HQJOC Ring
Road Challenge at Bungen-
dore on October 7.
Not long after finishing
the inner ring road race in
5 minutes and 11 seconds,
FLTLT Lowe lined up in the
4km outer road race.
“I decided to compete
in both, because it beats
sitting at a desk, and it gave
more points to the AOC
[her unit, the Air and Space
Operations Centre],” she
FLTLT Lowe was one
of more than 150 Defence
members who competed in
the annual challenge.
“It felt good to get the
first place for the AOC, and
I was surprised to win as
I thought LTCOL [Linda]
Meyer was definitely going
to catch me.”
LTCOL Meyer finished
Although FLTLT Lowe
finished the outer ring road
race, she failed to figure in
Chipman, however, placed
second in the men’s section
of the outer ring road chal-
GPCAPT Chipman said
he was exhausted at the fin-
“The third quarter
involved a long slog
uphill, which was hard work
and made the final part of
the run a challenge. I wasn’t
really happy with my time
and would have liked to
have been about 30 sec-
onds faster,” he said.
PLAYERS did not need a crystal football
early this year to know what lay ahead
for them if they wanted to make the cut
for the ASRU team for the IDRC.
They had months and months of
games and training ahead of them
just to make the final 30-man squad,
and then they had to win four games
against some of the finest military
teams in the world to qualify for the
final in Auckland.
Outside centre LAC Chris Tuttiet
was one who rose to the occasion.
“It’s a massive year for ASRU and I
think everyone within Defence rugby is
looking forward to it,” he said.
The thrust of that story was how the
meter was about to start ticking.
The ball would start rolling with the
Kiama sevens on February 26 and the
Kapooka 10s on March 19, leading into
the tri-service championships, after
which a 60-man training squad for the
IDRC was selected.
The members of that training squad
were subjected to tests and exposed to
specialist coaches who were brought
into camp by ASRU head coach CAPT
After a trial match between pos-
sible and probables in Canberra on
August 17, the squad was culled to
35. It was later cut to the final squad
of 30 and included six Air Force play-
ers; LAC Alex Chan, SGT Richard
Falkenmire, FLTLT Andre Holmes, CPL
Bodine Luscott, AC Tuttiet and CPL
Look at the records and you’ll see
that FLTLT Holmes, CPL Luscott and
CPL Wallace were members of the
White Pointers who won the bowl final
at Kapooka. Obviously, they hit the
ground running, too.
LCPL Mark Doran
LAC Alex Chan was among a happy
band of players when the Australian Ser-
vices Rugby Union (ASRU) beat Samoa
Police 23-10 in the semi-finals of the In-
ternational Defence Rugby Competition
in Auckland on October 18.
“It was a good contest – the
Samoans were tough and good in loose
play, but it was our structure which won
the game,” LAC Chan said.
“We stuck the ball with the forwards
because of the wet conditions and drove
forward for the whole match and blew
over the Samoans in the mauls and
The win propelled ASRU into the
final of the competition, which started
in Canberra on October 1.
It was scheduled to play British
Army in Auckland on October 22 –
after this newspaper went to press.
Earlier, Australia beat both Tonga
Defence Force 21-17 and China –
People’s Liberation Army 66-5 in its
pool games, and Royal Air Force 56-5
in its quarter final to book its place on
the aircraft to New Zealand.
The New Zealand Defence Force,
which had been tipped as almost a
certain final-four contender as the
sharp end of the competition shifted
to Auckland in the grip of World Cup
rugby fever, failed to qualify. The Kiwis
fell to Tonga in the quarter finals in
The locals did have a presence at
the Australia’s semi final in Auckland,
In front of a crowd of nearly 600,
the New Zealand Army Band played the
ASRU coach CAPT Damien Cahill
said the game was tremendous.
“What held them together was
their intensity in defence, which took
the Samoans’ ability to play the game
away,” CAPT Cahill said.
“ASRU’s line speed was great, they
stayed connected, they shut down the
dangerous Samoan ball-runners and got
them on to the ground, stopped their
offloads and beat them in the set pieces.
“The highlight of the game was the
defensive effort as they were sucking
the life out of the Samoans and refusing
to allow them to play the style of foot-
ball they wanted to play.”
ASRU’s win against the People’s
Liberation Army team in Canberra on
October 9 was an eye-opener because
China is a relatively new player on the
international rugby field.
SGT Richard Falkenmire said ASRU
played well to their structures by setting
Cop that, Samoa
themselves small goals throughout the
game and then achieving them at every
“The Chinese are big. They weren’t
as physical as we expected them to be,
but they were still fit and fast around
the paddock,” SGT Falkenmire said.
“They were a challenge in the
scrums, they tackled hard and they gave
it everything they had.
“We were just sticking to what we
know and not trying to force anything.”
For all of the results, including the final, go
Light at the end of the rugby tunnel
Day 3 in
The Chinese are big. They weren’t
as physical as we expected them
to be but they were still fit and fast
around the paddock.
– SGT Richard Falkenmire
October 27, 2011
• NSW basketballer winners – Page 23 • Teaming up for endurance glory – Page 22
ASRU beats Samoa Police 23-10
in the semi-finals in Auckland on
October 18 for a place in the final
against British Army which beat
Tonga Defence Services 15-10 in the
IT’S been a long, hard year for members
of the Australian Services Rugby Union
(ASRU) team but now they know this:
Unlike the Wallabies who crashed
out in the semi-finals of the civvie rugby
World Cup, our men in green and gold
qualified for the final of the International
Defence Rugby Competition after four
ASRU was scheduled to play the
British Army in the final in Auckland on
October 22 – after this newspaper went
Win or lose though, our players
certainly gave it their best shot after an
arduous season that began long ago.
Full report, Page 23
FLTLT Andre Holmes (black
and orange head guard) helps
secure good ruck ball during
the semi-final against the
Samoa Police in Auckland.
Photos: AB Lee-Anne Mack,
LCPL Mark Doran
ASRU beats Tonga Defence Services 21-
17 on gala day 2 in Sydney on October 5.
ASRU beats Royal Air Force 56-5 in
quarter-finals in Sydney on October 13.
ASRU beats China – People’s
Liberation Army 66-5 at gala day 3 in
Canberra on October 9.
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