Home' Air Force News : October 13th 2011 Contents Visit www.airforceshop.com.au
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NEW VIETNAM COLLECTION
This stunning new Vietnam Collection for 2011 features two iconic designs, the
image of the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra with the
words that are inscribed on the memorial, and a map of Vietnam combined with the
ribbons of the Vietnam campaign medals.
The collection includes;
Lapel pins, stubby
caps, teddy bears, bar
runners and stickers.
m M m
- P s gr du e urses ffered by dis e edu i
- ree ye r degree wi flyi g d m geme p i s
Fi d u m re
. . . .
r J mie (02) 9385-6767
F u y
S ie e
S d S i
October 13, 2011
A COMMEMORATIVE ser-
vice will be held at RAAF
Base Richmond Chapel
on October 29 to mark
the 20th anniversary of
the B707 accident near
East Sale which cost the
lives of five crew mem-
bers. Killed were SQNLDR
Mark Lewin, FLTLT Mark
Duncan, FLTLT Tim Ellis,
WOFF Jon Fawcett and
WOFF Al Gwynne. The
start at 10am with a light
lunch to follow in the
Sergeants' Mess. Those
wishing to attend should
RSVP to WGCDR Robyne
Green by October 14 at
gov.au. Dress for the ser-
vice will be Service Dress
4B -- long sleeve shirt and
tie with medals.
Big blood win
For the third year in
a row the Australian
(ADO) has won the Public
Sector Category in the
ACT Club Red/Sunday
Canberra Times Corporate
and Community Blood
Challenge. The ADO was
awarded the highest
number of donations in its
category with 957. More
than 9,200 donations were
made during the challenge,
having the potential to save
more than 27,000 lives.
On Page 11 of the
September 29 edition, Air
Force News ran a story
on SQNLDR Kevin Murray,
who is serving in East
Timor. The story said that
SQNLDR Murray was a
chaplain, when it should
have said logistics officer.
FLTLT Skye Smith
IT HAS been a long road but the Air
Force's newest Rhino aircrew are now
enjoying life in the fast seat having
graduated from the first Super Hornet
ab-initio course in Australia.
6SQN's inaugural Super Hornet
operational conversion (OPCON)
course has graduated the first two 'pure'
Rhino aircrew, FLGOFF Harry Hayes
and PLTOFF James Dutschke, straight
from Introductory Fighter Course --
making them the first F/A-18F Super
Hornet aircrew who did not convert
from the F-111 or Classic Hornet.
PLTOFF Dutschke said it was an
honour to be on the first course.
"Coming out of 76SQN and being
told we were heading up to Amberley
to be on the first course was fantastic.
The opportunity to fly a brand new jet
was impossible to turn down," he said.
The OPCON course comprises the
initial aircraft conversion, air-to-air
phase and air-to-surface phase.
The initial conversion covers basic
aircraft systems, emergency handling,
general flying, instrument flying, night
flying and formations.
"Most of these tasks have been
taught on training aircraft like the King
Air and Hawk, but it is about apply-
ing those core skills to a much more
advanced and complicated aircraft,"
FLGOFF Hayes said.
The crew solo during the first phase
was a highlight for FLGOFF Hayes
and PLTOFF Dutschke where they took
the aircraft up for some general flying
The air-to-air phase introduces all
the air-to-air sensors and weapons,
basic fighter manoeuvring and different
types of intercepts.
FLGOFF Hayes said: "The phase
begins with teaching us how to dogfight
and then leads into long range inter-
cepts and multiple adversaries in day
Finally, the air-to-surface phase adds
the air-to-ground sensors and weapons,
different weapons delivery profiles and
FLGOFF Hayes said flying the
Super Hornet for the first time was
"The Super Hornet is a big step up
from the single engine Hawk in both
power and performance," he said.
"The amount of information the jet
is trying to give you all at once can also
be pretty overwhelming to begin with."
The most challenging part of the
course for FLGOFF Hayes was learn-
ing how to solve compound and
advanced emergencies in time-com-
"The jet is very modern and
advanced, which makes it such a capa-
ble and reliable fighter," he said.
"But when those systems are
removed or degraded it can lead to
complex and intricate emergencies that
require detailed understanding on how
all systems work and interrelate."
For FLGOFF Hayes the best part
of the course was the final flight,
which was a night strike where they
were tasked to plan and execute a crew
solo pairs attack, while the adversary
attempted to prevent them from reach-
ing their target.
For PLTOFF Dutschke, flying the
jet for the first time was special.
"It is a huge performance jump from
anything I've flown previously and
being allowed to go flying in the Super
Hornet is a special feeling," he said.
"Signing a 90-hour old jet out after
only three flights was a definite high-
PLTOFF Dutschke said the Hawk
was an excellent lead-in for the Rhino.
"A lot of displays and systems are
similar and were good training for what
we use on the Super Hornet," he said.
"The Rhino is a lot bigger than any-
thing I've ever flown previously and
with lots more power so the perfor-
mance jump was huge."
It took about five years for the two
operators to arrive at 6SQN through ini-
tial pilot or air combat officer training.
"I grew up watching the F-111s
flying low level down the coastline to
Evans Head and seeing these jets was
probably my biggest influence to join
the Air Force and become a weapons
systems officer," FLGOFF Hayes said.
"After the acquisition of the Super
Hornets was announced it really fuelled
my motivation to operate in fast jets
and it was pretty rewarding to know
that the effort I put in over the last five
years has paid off."
PLTOFF Dutschke said: "The culmi-
nation of four years going through officer
training and pilot's course has been a long
road, but keeps getting more enjoyable as
I progress through course to course."
"I find it almost surreal to think that
only two years ago I was flying around
Force's newest and most capable fighter
jet."CO 6SQN WGCDR Terence Deeth
said the transition from the F-111
OPCON has been comprehensive and
the graduation of FLGOFF Hayes and
PLTOFF Dutschke is testament to eve-
ryone involved in the Super Hornet pro-
The Super Hornet fleet stands at 20,
with another four aircraft due to arrive
in Australia by the end of the year.
Dutschke in the
seat of a Hawk
127, which he
said was an
for the Rhino.
Hayes, left, and
Dutschke in front of
an F/A-18F Super
Photo: LACW Jessica
New crew graduate
course with awe
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