Home' Air Force News : August 18th 2011 Contents 13
August 18, 2011
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SGT Andrew Hetherington
A NEW book showcasing Air Force's
equipment, people and its operational
achievements over the past 12 years
was launched at Russell on August 2.
In his speech launching Air Force:
Inside the New Era of Australian Air
Power, CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown
said author Ian McPhedran had told
the stories of a motivated and capable
"It's quite an effort putting a book
like this together and I am more than
pleased with the result and the way it
reflects Air Force," AIRMSHL Brown
"When Ian approached us in 2009
to write the book and [at that time]
we'd thought a lot of Air Force's sto-
ries had not been told over the past 10
to 12 years.
"We were very supportive of the
project and made available a lot of
people to work through the book with
It's Mr McPhedran's third book
and took him more than two years and
countless hours to complete.
head before I started writing, as I've
had a number of hours riding in Hercs
and a gone on a few missions with the
Air Force," Mr McPhedran said.
"If you include all the travel, inter-
views, transcription of those inter-
views, writing and editing it's taken
me thousands of hours to complete."
For his research he travelled to the
United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan,
US, Darwin, Williamtown, Victoria
McPhedran said he chose Air
Force as a topic because he thought
the Air Force did not get much of
the media spotlight compared to
Australia's other two armed services.
"The Army gets a lot of publicity,
so does the Navy and I thought Air
Force was at the leading edge of a lot
of technology," Mr McPhedran said.
"They are often the first group in
and the last out on a [Defence] job, I
think they were worthy of the book
and it was time they were acknowl-
edged for the force they are."
Mr McPhedran's passion for
flying also had some influence on
his topic choice. "I have my single
engine Cessna unrestricted pilots
licence, with my night VF rating and
500 hours under my belt.
"I'm one of the guys when he
hears a plane looks up to see what it
is."While he was putting the book
together Mr McPhedran discovered
what types of people make up the Air
"I found out they're a dedicated
bunch of people and they're tech
heads as there's a lot of technology in
the Air Force.
"There's a lot of committed peo-
ple; the pilots are interesting, but
so too are the cooks, loadmasters,
mechanics and electricians.
"I found the whole culture of keep-
ing the aircraft flying was interesting."
One of the highlights of putting
the book together was the rare oppor-
tunity of being a passenger in a Super
"It was unbelievable; after taking
off I was then in a world of incredible
speed, power and aerobatics.
"Other highlights were meeting
the people; some of them were just
awesome, really welcoming and
open with their discussions with
me," Mr McPhedran said.
"Standout stories for me in the
book were Matt Hall flying over
Baghdad with the Americans -- it
was fascinating, but equally as
fascinating were the stories of the
Caribous flying in East Timor,
the AP-3Cs over Afghanistan and
[former CAF AIRMSHL] Geoff
Shepherd, who's a character."
Air Force News has
five copies of Ian
to give away. Email
your contact de-
tails to raafnews@
with "Book givea-
way" in the subject
line by August 24.
Winners will be pub-
lished next edition.
LAST CHANCE TO WIN
CAPTIVATING BOOK: Author Ian McPhedran with CAF AIRMSHL Geoff
Brown at the launch.
Photo: LAC Bill Solomou
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