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March 3, 2011
THE joint air intelligence capability
between Australia and New Zealand
has been further enhanced with the
graduation of the first Kiwi from
the RAAF's Intelligence Graduate
PLTOFF Lauretta Wheeler from
the Royal New Zealand Air Force's
Integrated Mission Support Squadron
(IMSS) completed the arduous course
in 12 months while attached to the
RAAF under the program.
She said a highlight of the attach-
ment was the opportunity to visit other
RAAF bases and units.
"This was invaluable for under-
standing RAAF capabilities and gave
real-life context to classroom lessons,"
PLTOFF Wheeler said.
After completing her Air
Intelligence Officer Basic Course,
PLTOFF Wheeler attended a further
10-week attachment to 87SQN's 92
Tactical Intelligence Flight (TIF).
The attachment provided an oppor-
tunity to practically reinforce the skills
and knowledge that was learnt on both
the basic course and the other training
delivered through the program.
Her tasks involved giving intelli-
gence update briefs to 92WG executive
staff on a range of issues as well as
supporting local flying activities as a
fully integrated member of the section.
"Being attached to the intel sec-
tion that supports the AP-3C capability
gave me some real-world, transferable
experience that I hope to be able to use
when I return to the RNZAF," she said.
CO 87SQN WGCDR Richard
Trotman-Dickenson was optimistic for
"Ideally, we will be able to inte-
grate personnel from both 87SQN
and IMSS on exercises and operations
quite seamlessly," WGCDR Trotman-
The Intelligence Graduate Development Program (IGDP)
Trainees complete their Air Intelligence Officer Basic
Course at the Defence Intelligence Training Centre,
Kokoda Barracks, Canungra, Queensland.
For six months after this course, the trainees are
developed and mentored within the IGDP, undertake
additional courses and participate in RAAF exercises.
The IGDP can take between 12 and 18 months,
depending on when a member's clearance is granted.
TWO RAAF officers who attended a
Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF)
Women's Development Forum (WDF)
last year have returned home with new
WGCDR Dee Gibbon and WOFF
Carmel Pako, both from DGPERS-AF,
represented the RAAF at the annual
forum, which was held at RNZAF Base
The conference aimed to sup-
port, encourage and contribute to the
development of women in the RNZAF,
in order for women to realise their full
The theme was 'Leading Yourself,
Your Peers, Your Boss'.
WOFF Pako and WGCDR Gibbon
found the conference to be very inspir-
ing, with women from a range of
professional and Defence backgrounds
openly sharing stories of some of the
gender-based challenges they had
faced throughout their careers.
The RAAF representatives pre-
sented a talk outlining some of the
barrier-mitigating initiatives under
development within DGPERS-AF.
The RNZAF's WDF is growing
in attendance and scope each year,
and the 2010 conference was well
subscribed by members of all ranks,
services, Defence civilians and women
from non-defence corporations with
an interest in women's development.
After some initial reluctance
regarding the concept, more New
Zealand Defence women were seeing
the benefits of attending the forum and
the positive outcomes that the confer-
WGCDR Gibbon found the experi-
ence to be "extremely motivational
and enjoyable" and hoped that ADF
representatives were afforded further
opportunities to attend the conference
AIR FORCE'S new breed of Operations Officers (OP-
SOs) recently completed a three-week interim initial
course at RAAF Base East Sale.
The course was conducted to meet the immediate
needs of the 14 officers and commissioned airmen who
recently transferred into the specialisation while the new
OPSO category stood up as a PAF capability.
Held at the School of Air Warfare, the course com-
bined elements of the previous RAAF Reserve OPSO
basic course, air combat officer ground school, crew
resource and aviation risk management and meteorol-
ogy as well as specialised modules on core information
systems used to plan, coordinate and support air power
Category sponsor and course student SQNLDR
Matthew Harvey was pleased with the results.
"This interim course represented a critical milestone
in the development of the OPSO specialisation -- PAF
and Reserve," he said.
"The depth of experience already with the students
on the course formed a strong basis for the mature initial
employment training course that best provided for the Air
Force's operations support capability needs."
The training aimed to produce subject matter experts
in operations planning, coordination and management
supporting air and base environments.
The new OPSOs will be capable of running a unit
operations room in a high-tempo environment.
The 14 students came from a diverse range of spe-
cialisations -- joint battlefield airspace controller, educa-
tion officer, ground defence officer, airfield defence
guard, clerk and firefighter.
They have been posted to a range of units includ-
ing Headquarters Northern Command, the Air Mobility
Control Centre and 1, 32, 76, 77 and 285SQNs.
forum inspires Trans-Tasman intel
Dickenson said. "This will increase
operational capability and collabora-
tion in the processing, exploitation and
dissemination of intelligence prod-
It is expected that the initial success
of this initiative will be followed with
an additional four RNZAF trainees
attached to the program this year.
PLTOFF Lauretta Wheeler who
says she now has a greater
understanding of the RAAF.
COMPLETE: The 14 new OPSOs after
completing their course at RAAF Base East Sale.
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