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AIR FORCE September 3, 2009
By FLTLT Eamon Hamilton
WOFF Rudy Mech has
amassed an achievement few
aircrew could imagine -- 15,000
military flying hours.
With most of that time accu-
mulated as a loadmaster on C-
130s, WOFF Mech has spent the
equivalent of 625 days, or one
year and eight months in the air.
The milestone ticked over in
a 37SQN C-130J during a task in
the South Pacific on August 1.
WOFF Mech was greeted on his
return to RAAF Base Richmond
the following day by wife Linda,
son Paul, and fellow loadmasters
and other squadron members.
The flying hours have been
accumulated over the course of
a 41-year career. Indeed, WOFF
Mech was a Hercules loadmaster
before some of today's 37SQN
pilots were even born.
WOFF Mech originally joined
the Air Force in 1968, at age 17,
initially as an airfield defence
guard before re-mustering as a gun-
ner on Iroquois helicopters in 1969.
WOFF Mech still regards serv-
ice in Vietnam as one of his career
highlights, and also later flew on
Iroquois with the then PLTOFF
He remustered to loadmaster
in 1978, and has experience on the
Douglas DC-3 Dakota as well as
on Hercules E, H and J models.
In his career, WOFF Mech has
seen all sorts of loads travel over
the ramp of a Hercules -- from
emus to a periscope from an
His career has also included
countless passengers and pallets to
destinations including the Middle
East, South Pacific, and South
WOFF Mech thanked his
wife and family for their support
throughout his career.
"If you haven't got a good
family life, you're not going to get
this sort of stuff done," he said.
While he didn't think he'd
see through 15,000 flying hours,
WOFF Mech admits "as the
old cliché goes, time flies when
you're having fun".
Long time coming
15,000 HOURS FLYING: WOFF Rudy Mech
in front of a sign his colleagues made to
congratulate him on achieving a remarkable
flying milestone and, top, the welcome that
marked his return to base.
Photos: LACW Amanda Campbell
General service justly met
By Cristy Symington
GPCAPT Kathleen Powell's ex-
ceptional service to the office of the
Inspector General ADF (IGADF) was
recognised with a commendation from
CDF ACM Angus Houston at a cer-
emony in Canberra in August.
GPCAPT Powell was commended for
her outstanding performance as a senior
inquiry officer in the office of IGADF,
which monitors the military justice sys-
tem to ensure it gives members a fair go,
while balancing discipline requirements.
Although GPCAPT Powell has been
with IGADF for almost five years, her
service spans 40 years -- 20 in the per-
manent force and 20 as a reservist.
GPCAPT Powell sports four clasps
on her Defence Long Service Medal.
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