Home' Air Force News : March 18th 2010 Contents Are you a current serving ADF member about to sepa-
rate from the military? Are you concerned about how
this change will affect you and your family? Would you
like to learn how to manage this change in your life?
If you answered 'yes' then the Stepping Out Program is
The Stepping Out Program is a free program for
Defence personnel and their partners who are in the
process of separating, or have recently separated, from
the military. The two-day Stepping Out Program gives
you skills and strategies to help you prepare for the
social and emotional changes that come with leaving
Defence -- for you and your family.
Take the time to prepare and plan for the future, learn
stress management skills and become aware of local
support outside of the military.
The Stepping Out Program is a chance to meet others
in the same situation and to gain insight into their expe-
riences. In small groups, with an experienced facilitator
who understands the challenges facing transitioning
military personnel, you can prepare and plan for your
next step into civilian life.
The Stepping Out Program is provided by VVCS
-- Veterans and Veterans Counselling Service and is
available across Australia. The Defence Directorate of
Transition Support Services has endorsed the program
and will give you time out from work to attend.
The program has been highly regarded by participants,
in particular, one participant commended the program
with the following:
"Every discharging ADF person should do this course".
Register now, call VVCS on 1800 011 046.
Upcoming Stepping Out Program for 2010
(subject to demand)
Stepping Out Program
VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Family
Personal Injury Law
Need Help? Advice? Call Max Emanuel
0418 474 306
02 6257 1500
AIR FORCE March 18, 2010
CAF AIRMSHL Mark Binskin has taken up the
cudgels with an article that appeared in the Febru-
ary 27 edition of The Australian newspaper.
In the article, titled Australia's shrinking Air
Force, journalist Cameron Stewart claimed that the
Air Force's fighter and strike force was at its smallest
size, with less than half available for operations.
He also said that at times up to 75 per cent of
the force was unavailable because of maintenance,
upgrades or safety concerns and that "only a handful"
CAF was quick to respond to the claims.
"The article on Air Force's air combat aircraft in
The Australian is not an accurate reflection of Air
Force's current capability and readiness," AIRMSHL
"Air Force maintains a potent air combat capa-
bility, which will be further boosted within weeks,
when the first of the RAAF's next-generation Super
Hornets arrive in Australia.
"For obvious reasons Defence does not publicly
release availability numbers of air combat aircraft.
However, Cameron Stewart's article may be referring
to the period of operational standby over Christmas,
when Air Force maintains its normal level of high
readiness for short notice tasks, while many of our
people, including maintainers, are taking well earned
leave with their families."
He said the article made only passing reference to
the much-publicised Hornet Upgrade (HUG) project.
"This project is successfully delivering state-of-
the-art fighter aircraft, which will be ready to operate
effectively in the threat environment of the next dec-
ade," he said.
"F/A-18s involved in the upgrade are off-line for
a period of time, but this is a staged process to ensure
Air Force always maintains sufficient capability to
fulfil government tasking and crew training.
"The F-111s are ageing aircraft which have served
Australia well, but are now approaching the end of
their operational life.
"Air Force is experiencing some challenges with
the ageing F-111s, but it is widely acknowledged that
the F-111 is increasingly expensive and difficult to
maintain and operate. Despite this, a few uninformed
commentators continue to call for F-111 operations to
be extended beyond 2010."
AIRMSHL Binskin said Air Force was focused on
the exciting future ahead.
"The arrival of the first group of Super Hornets
later this month marks a new chapter for Air Force
and a major leap in air combat capability," he said.
The article by Cameron Stewart can be found by
searching The Australian newspaper's website at www.
By Fiona van der Plaat
MORE than 47,000 military per-
sonnel will be urged to overcome
their "survey fatigue" and take part
in the ADF's biggest-ever health
COL Stephanie Hodson, Joint
Health Command's (JHC) director
of mental health, said a survey of
ADF personnel, starting in May,
would kick-start a wide-scale review
of members' and veterans' health
JHC and the Centre for Military
and Veterans' Health have joined
forces to run the review, known
as the Military Health Outcomes
"The opening survey is a state-
of-the-nation census that will tell
us about the health and wellbeing
of the ADF," COL Hodson said. "If
you don't know what the problems
are, you can't fix them."
The next step would be to take
the pulse of veterans' health.
COL Hodson said she under-
stood any feelings within the ranks
of being "over-surveyed".
"But this is an area in which
they can make a real difference. It is
strongly endorsed by the CDF, JHC
and all the services, and will lead
to real improvements in health care
for serving members and veterans,"
More than 25,000 members
who are serving, or have served, in
the Middle East will be invited to
take part, along with a "comparison
group" of about 22,000 personnel
ADF takes aim at
CAF sets the
on air combat
The Health and Wellbeing
Voluntary and confidential.
Fully supported by the CDF
Run by university health
Sent to members online or
with other military experience and
One of the aims of the program
is to identify the physical and psy-
chological effects of deployment,
flag patterns between types of expo-
sure and specific health problems,
and pinpoint things that seem to
help people cope.
COL Hodson said the initial sur-
veys would ask participants about
their experiences in service or on
deployment, the state of their men-
tal and physical health, and their
access to care. It would also look
for potential barriers to good health
The survey is said to take less
than 45 minutes to complete, on
paper or online, and CDF ACM
Angus Houston has given permis-
sion for it to be filled out during
For more information, call the study
team on 1800 886 567 or email
MAKE YOUR DEPLOYMENT COUNT: One of the aims
of the Military Health Outcomes Program is to identify the
physical and psychological effects of deployment on ADF
members. The wide-scale review will start in May and will
involve more than 25,000 members who have served, or
are currently serving, in the Middle East.
Photo: SGT Rob Nyffenegger
QUICK STRIKE: A recent article in The
Australian newspaper incorrectly reported that
less than half of Air Force's strike and fighter jets
were available for operations. CAF was quick to
respond to the claims. Photo: SQNLDR Simon Ashworth
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