Home' Air Force News : February 3rd 2011 Contents 12
February 3, 2011
SPC Jennifer Spradlin
IT WOULD be their last delivery into
Tarin Kot for a while, so the C-17A
crew made it a good one -- for the sake
Touching down on December 8, the
36SQN Globemaster was laden with
essential stores and Christmas mail
for ADF members serving in Uruzgan
The giant aircraft would not be able
to land there again for a few months
while with the airstrip underwent an
Aircraft captain FLTLT Steve Hall
said the focus had been on getting as
much cargo on the aircraft as possible
while it could still land at Tarin Kot.
"The timeframe and the weath-
er made it quite challenging but also
rewarding to deliver large amounts of
cargo, particularly mail to the Defence
members at Tarin Kot," FLTLT Hall
"The task is not just flying the air-
craft; it involves complex planning to
coordinate pay loads, fuel and manage-
ment of timings.
"We need to be vigilant when fly-
ing as even though the airspace in
Afghanistan is controlled, the sheer vol-
ume of coalition aircraft makes hitting
another airframe a real risk in the busy
and nationally diverse airspace."
While the airfield was undergo-
ing repairs, the C-17A continued to
fly into Kandahar and Kabul Airports,
and also recently flew to Sweden to
pick up specialist equipment for use in
In the meantime, C-130 and rotary-
wing aircraft were still able to continue
flights into Tarin Kot.
Last C-17A flight delivers
Christmas cheer to troops
ABCIS Melanie Schinkel
SERENDIPITY dawned on twins
ABSN Mark Hibbins and CPL
Grant Hibbins recently as they un-
expectedly crossed paths transiting
in and out of Al Minhad Air Base
(AMAB) in the United Arab Emir-
ates.After finishing his four-month
deployment at AMAB, Grant was
making arrangements to return to
Australia when his brother Mark
arrived to start his eight-month
"It was good to see him because
I didn't get a chance before I left
for my deployment. We were pretty
lucky to catch up with each other
here of all places," Grant said.
Grant was working for Force
Support Unit (FSU) 3 in its pro-
curement and contracting cell.
"During this deployment, my
main role as a supply corporal was
to pay all the service and purchase
bills. I dealt with day-to-day things
like cleaning costs and local pur-
chases for the base," he said.
Mark, who is 20 minutes older
than his brother, arrived at AMAB
as part of FSU 4 and will be work-
ing at the Q Store.
"I will be helping to issue gear
and collect equipment from person-
nel who come in and out of thea-
tre," Mark said.
"I'm really looking forward to
the experience. It will certainly be
different from working on a ship.
I might even get the chance to go
to Afghanistan. All around, this
deployment is a good opportunity
The twins said they followed in
their father's footsteps by joining
"Our dad worked in the Air
Force's supply branch for 22 years
and our grandfather was an engi-
neer, so our family has a strong Air
Force lineage," Grant said.
"Mark and I are both colour
blind, so we were limited in our
career options with Defence, but
dad had a great career in supply so
we thought we would give it a go
Mark said that when he ini-
itally approached Defence Force
Recruiting he had every intention of
joining the Air Force but chose the
"I guess I did break the family's
Air Force tradition a little, but I
just liked the sound of Navy better.
Navy just seemed like it was more
for me," he said.
Apart from sharing similar
careers in the ADF, the brothers
also share a passion for AFL.
"We both played footy together
as kids in Windsor, which is not
far from RAAF Base Richmond,"
Mark said. "I played for
Hawkesbury and the Nor-West Jets
"Grant went away to join the Air
Force in 2005 and then the follow-
ing year I enlisted in the Navy.
"Ever since we've been old
enough to hit each other there's
been rivalry between us, but it's just
of competitions to try and deter-
mine who was better at playing
THAT'S IT FOR 2010: The Globemaster crew, from left, WOFF Greg
Moore, FLGOFF Cameron Rabbett, SGT Shane Christall and FLTLT Steve
Photo: CPL Christopher Dickson
Air Force members
recently joined their
at Al Minhad Air
Base to farewell
12 months as
in the Middle East.
Photo: SGT Neil Ruskin
FANCY MEETING YOU HERE: Twin brothers ABSN Mark Hibbins and CPL Grant Hibbins reunite
unexpectedly while transiting through Al Minhad Air Base.
Photo: ABIS Jo Dilorenzo
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