Home' Air Force News : December 9th 2010 Contents Editorial team
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December 9, 2010
Last 2010 edition
This is the last edition of Air Force News for
2010. The first edition next year is February
3, with contributions required by January 19.
Send your story and high resolution images
AS another year is coming to
a close, I wish to express my
gratitude to all of you for the
contribution you have made
to the ADF in 2010.
I am very proud to lead the ADF
and I am always impressed by your
professionalism and commitment to
getting the job done.
2010 has been another year of
high-tempo operations during which
thousands of you deployed to 12
In Afghanistan, we continued to
mentor and train the ANA 4th Brigade,
contribute to capacity-building in
Uruzgan, blunt the insurgency and
take back areas traditionally held by
the Taliban. In Timor-Leste and the
Solomon Islands we have progres-
sively drawn down our troop contri-
bution due to the continuing stable
security situations in both countries.
Our smaller contributions to various
AS Commander-in-Chief of the
Australian Defence Force,
I extend a warm season's
greetings and congratulate all Royal
Australian Air Force personnel on a
The Air Force has again demon-
strated the highest levels of dedica-
tion, professionalism and adapt-
ability in a year of consistently high
operational tempo, both at home and
I have had many wonderful
interactions with our Air Force this
year. In April, I was transported
by C-130 Hercules aircraft from
Al Minhad Air Base in the United
Arab Emirates to Tarin Kot and
Kandahar air bases in Afghanistan,
where among other things, I had
the pleasure of visiting the Heron
Detachment. In May, at RAAF
Base Tindal, I toured 75SQN
and enjoyed lunch with service
personnel. In August, at RAAF
Base Townsville, I presented the
Governor-General's banner to
27SQN and a Squadron Colour to
1AOSS, and in September I toured
RAAF Base Wagga where I met
the staff and recruits of 1 Recruit
In each of these experiences, I
have been impressed with the devo-
tion to duty, commitment to service
and outstanding character of our
personnel. I met Air Force men and
women who were getting the job
done, often under demanding cir-
cumstances, both on operations and
While a number of you will
spend Christmas at home, others will
remain on duty in locations through-
out Australia and overseas. I hope
those of you away find some time
IEXTEND my best wishes and
season's greetings to you and
Since becoming Defence
Minister in September, I have had
the pleasure of meeting a range of
Defence personnel, both here and
Two weeks into my term
as Defence Minister, I vis-
ited Australian troops serving in
Afghanistan. This helped me gain a
better understanding of the condi-
tions that our personnel are facing.
We have great pride in the men and
women who are working hard every
day to help bring about the peace
and stability of a country that needs
the international community's assis-
ADF personnel are also playing
a significant role in peacekeeping
missions in our region and fur-
G'DAY all. 2010 is coming to
a close with a rush.
The Christmas parties
are starting so that means
the year is nearly done.
It has been a busy year for our
Air Force as it continues to conduct
missions in the MEAO, Op Resolute
and Op Pakistan Assist II as well as
conducting exercises in Australia and
around the world.
It has been another year of long
hard hours to deliver our respective
We have introduced new platforms
in among this and seen off our old,
faithful F-111s. They are being ably
replaced with the new Super Hornets.
CAF and I have just returned home
from our annual visit to our deployed
members in the MEAO.
As usual we have some talented
people over there doing some great
things for us, conducting operations
day in and day out to ensure the ADF
mission is a success.
We are also conducting operations
alongside our coalition partners who
only have high praise for the ADF and
our Air Force.
This is a true reflection of your
professionalism and dedication to your
duties and for that I thank you for your
I really enjoyed talking with you in
your respective locations.
Thank you for all your efforts.
For those who are about to depart
on deployment, I hope you enjoy your
tour and know you all will continue
with the professionalism displayed by
those currently deployed.
Christmas is a hard time to be away
from family and friends; however your
new deployed family will ensure it is a
For all members who are on duty
over the Christmas period, whether
here in Australia or deployed; thank
you for your service.
For those members who are trav-
elling for either holidays or moving
on posting over the holiday period,
travel safely and please enjoy the well-
My wife Di and I would like to wish
everyone a very Merry Christmas and
a Happy New Year. Stay safe and I look
forward to catching up with everyone
It already looks like being an excit-
ing year in our Air Force -- and it is our
WOFF-AF JJ Millar
CDF ACM Angus Houston
Governor-General Quentin Bryce
Defence Minister Stephen Smith
THE Directorate of Defence
Newspapers is farewelling its long-time
Director Rod Horan who is retiring after
a lengthy career with Defence.
During his Defence
career, both as an Army
officer and civilian, Rod
was editor of the Army
and Navy newspapers
and took up his position
as Director in 2001.
During his directorship, Rod guid-
ed the Service newspapers through
times of increased operational tempo,
oversaw the expansion of the news-
papers' size and led the transition to
the online world.
Rod made a substantial contribu-
tion to the directorate and Defence as
a whole and will be greatly missed.
United Nations Missions have pro-
gressed well, as has our part in whole-
of-government efforts to protect our
borders and offshore maritime inter-
ests. During 2010, we also contributed
to two humanitarian operations in
Haiti, following an earthquake, and
Pakistan, following severe floods.
You can take great pride in your
efforts and the many successes we
have achieved both here in Australia
and overseas this year. Thank you for
your hard work and dedication.
I also want to thank your families
for the love and support they have
given you and the sacrifices that they
have made during the year. I deeply
appreciate it as I know you do.
Finally, more than 3700 of you will
be separated from your families over the
Christmas period. My thoughts will be
with you and your families during the
festive season. I know how hard it is to
be away from your loved ones.
Many of you will also be packing up
and moving to a new location. This too
can be challenging, but I encourage you
to embrace the opportunities this brings.
very Merry Christmas and Happy
New Year. May 2011 bring you good
health, happiness and success.
to celebrate the festive season, sup-
ported by the knowledge that your
commitment is highly valued and
respected by all Australians.
Michael and I take this opportu-
nity on behalf of all Australians to
express our deep appreciation to all
Royal Australian Air Force person-
nel, partners, friends and family
members who provide such invalu-
May you have a Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year, and a safe
return for those deployed overseas.
ther afield. We have ADF members
serving in East Timor, the Solomon
Islands and Sudan.
Over the past year, the ADF has
also delivered life-saving humanitar-
ian and emergency assistance to the
people of Haiti, Fiji and Pakistan,
building on a proud tradition of
humanitarian response to disasters in
our region and beyond.
As I travel around bases and sites
in Australia, I am impressed by the
commitment, focus and professional-
ism of the men and women who work
in Defence, both military and civilian.
In a speech to the House of
Representatives on November 25, I
placed on record my thanks to the men
and women of Defence including CDF
ACM Angus Houston and the Secretary
of the Department Dr Ian Watt for the
invaluable work you do in Australia's
national security interests.
For most of us the festive sea-
son is a time spent with family and
loved ones. At this time, we keep in
our thoughts those who are on duty
abroad in Afghanistan, the Middle
East, Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, the Solomon
Islands and East Timor. Australia
is thankful for your service, as it is
thankful to all those who serve the
nation's defence. You are part of a
proud Australian tradition going back
more than a century and its impor-
tance does not diminish.
Christmas will, of course, be a
very difficult time for 21 families
who will be reminded that their
loved one -- a son, father, husband
or partner -- is not with them. For
10 families this will be a terrible
time because it will be the first
Christmas where their loved one
will be missing.
We remember the brave young
Australians who have lost their
lives serving their country. Our
eternal gratitude continues and the
nation's thoughts are with their
families and friends at this time.
I wish all the members and their
families a peaceful Christmas and
a safe and happy new year. I look
forward to a productive 2011 and
to working with you to meet the
challenges of the year ahead.
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