Home' Air Force News : September 15th 2011 Contents 5
September 15, 2011
AIR FFNeil's over
IT WAS one small trip for the Wagga-
based Air Force officer -- but WGCDR
Neil Armstrong is over the moon about
meeting his famous namesake in Sydney.
"It was a huge experience; one I will
treasure for the rest of my life," said the
aeronautical engineer and CO of the
RAAF School of Technical Training.
He achieved his dream on August
24 when the first man to walk on the
moon made his seventh landing here in
WGCDR Armstrong was born on
the fifth anniversary of the July 20,
1969, moon landing and has had a life-
long ambition to meet astronaut Neil
Armstrong since he was five years old.
"My parents sat me down on my fifth
birthday and explained the significance
of my name and showed me some foot-
age of the moon landing," WGCDR
"Ever since then I have always wanted
to meet him in person and have been
inspired by his achievements."
Air Force Neil read in a newspaper
that CPA Australia was hosting astro-
naut Neil in Australia to deliver a talk
on leadership and the challenges of new
It cost WGCDR Armstrong $550 for
the "Audience with Neil Armstrong"
ticket and the opportunity of "meeting the
great man" himself.
"I would have been prepared to have
taken a holiday to the States if I knew
I would be able to meet him. So it was
a very small price to pay to meet your
Unit administration officer FSGT
Rachael Wilkins approached CPA
Australia on the CO's behalf -- and the
rest was history with WGCDR Armstrong
one of just a few people to meet the
famous Neil after his address.
During that address, Mr Armstrong
spoke on leadership challenges of the
but also talked at
length on modern
humanity, such as
While the two
Neils spent only
a few minutes in
each other's com-
meeting his famous namesake was very
much a privilege.
"He is 81 years old, yet he still has an
incredibly sharp mind; his address that
evening was compelling," he said.
"I said to him that we share more than
just a name and that I, too, was an aero-
nautical engineer like him and we were
both leaders in our own right -- he just
replied 'you seem like a fine fellow'."
And those famous words uttered on
the steps of the Apollo lunar module?
Mr Armstrong said in his address that
while most of the Apollo mission was
heavily structured, the "one small step for
man, one giant leap for mankind" com-
ment was up to his final decision.
"He said that he did discuss it with the
crew but ultimately it was his decision to
make and a decision he only made as he
descended to the lunar surface."
WGCDR Armstrong said his fasci-
nation with the moon also inspired his
wife, Danielle, to purchase an acre on the
moon as a gift.
He proudly displays the framed title
on his office desk -- now just how to get
'It was a huge
one I will treas-
ure for the rest
of my life.
Armstrong meets his famous namesake
NEIL, MEET NEIL: WGCDR Armstrong was all smiles after becoming one of the privileged few to
meet 81-year-old Neil Armstrong in Sydney. WGCDR Armstrong was born on the fifth anniversary of
the first moon landing and followed in the footsteps of the famous astronaut to become an Air Force
Photo: Peter Aylward
IF ONLY: While his
got to look down on
Earth from the lunar
surface, this is the
best WGCDR Neil
Armstrong could do
from the comfort of
his office at Wagga.
Photo courtesy of the Leader
Newspaper, Wagga Wagga
not only helped
him meet the "great
man" himself at the
"Audience with Neil
but led to the below
photo being taken
by a fellow attendee,
who agreed to take
the snap in return
for the exclusive
use of WGCDR
badge on the night.
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