Home' Air Force News : December 8th 2011 Contents 11
December 8, 2011
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR OPENING HOURS
Monday 26 December
Tuesday 27 December
Wednesday 28 December
Thursday 29 December
8:30am - 5:00pm
Friday 30 December
8:30am - 5:00pm
Monday 2 January
If you have an emergency or an urgent maintenance request, our hotlines will remain open 24 hours, seven
days a week. If required, you will also have access to a local manager through our emergency hotlines.
MAINTENANCE HOTLINE: 139DHA (139 342)
THIS has been a significant
year for Air Force. Not only
did we celebrate 90 years
as an organisation, but as a
team we undertook a diverse range of
operations in a period where Air Force
is amid the largest transition to new
capabilities since the 1960s.
2011 started with a number of
high-profile humanitarian operations,
beginning with the Queensland and
Victorian Floods, where we helped
move 3.3 million pounds of essential
supplies to devastated communities
in Queensland, and delivered more
than 100,000 sandbags to Victoria.
Air Force enhanced its reputation as
a lifeline and a force of capable and
professional airmen and women, both
in the air and on the ground help-
ing clean up our communities in the
Soon after these tremendous
achievements, we again came to
the rescue of Queensland when we
arrived in Cairns within three hours
of the request to evacuate Cairns
Hospital. We provided critical medi-
cal support, showcasing our strategic
aero-medical evacuation capability.
The first quarter of the year cul-
minated with our assistance to Japan
after their earthquake and subsequent
tsunami. At one stage we had the
C-17As deployed, providing vital sup-
port to the Japanese people.
Later in the year during Exercise
Red Flag in Alaska, we undertook our
first bilateral flight with the Japanese
Air Self Defence Force with our
Classic F/A-18 Hornets, before visit-
ing Misawa Air Base for the first time.
In addition, exercises with our coali-
tion partners, such as Talisman Sabre
and Cope Thunder, ensured we are
prepared for whatever 2012 will bring.
Air Force's operational tempo
also remained high with our ongoing
commitment in the Middle East and
domestic border protection.
In the Middle East, the C-130 air-
craft transported about 25,000 passen-
gers and nine million pounds of cargo
to and around theatre, and also con-
ducted 75 aero-medical evacuations,
while the Heron has conducted dual
concurrent operations in Afghanistan,
providing about 4500 hours ISR sup-
port to land forces.
The AP-3C aircraft flew about 2400
hours conducting overland and mari-
time ISR operations. While in Australia,
our aircraft provided about 2000 hours
support to the whole-of-government
domestic border protection operation.
Combat support personnel
continue to provide vital enabling
capabilities in the Middle East and
Australia, which this year included
the activation of RAAF Base
IAM NOT sure if everyone is
looking back with the same
thought as I am -- but where has
this year gone?
I write my first Christmas mes-
sage as your Warrant Officer of the
Air Force with tremendous pride in
what we have achieved over the past
We continue to meet every chal-
lenge required of us, whether that be
in supporting the people of Australia
and around the world during the
devastating and tragic events that
have occurred, or as we continue
to provide air power in support of
Australia's national security.
We achieve this through the
dedication and commitment of an
amazing team of people; one team
comprised of uniformed personnel,
Defence civilians and contractors.
In my short tenure I have had
the privilege of talking to some of
you, both at our air bases within
Australia and overseas on opera-
tions. Without exception, I see an
IWOULD like to take this oppor-
tunity to recognise your contri-
bution to the ADF and to thank
you for your efforts throughout
a very busy year.
The high operational tempo we
have experienced in recent years
continued while natural disasters
at home and abroad tested our
capacity to respond at short notice.
I am proud of the way we met this
challenge with the level of skill and
compassion Australia has come to
expect from us.
At its peak almost 3500 ADF
personnel, both regular and
reserves, provided assistance in the
wake of Cyclone Yasi and follow-
ing the Queensland and Victoria
Those of you who have
deployed overseas to our missions
in East Timor, Solomon Islands
or on maritime and border protec-
tion tasks have made a valuable
contribution to the peace, stability
and security of our region. So,
too, have the many thousands of
uniformed members and civilians
who support them.
I visited Afghanistan several
times this year and I am always
impressed by the people I meet.
I am confident our role in men-
toring and training the Afghan
National Security Forces will
Learmonth to support Operation
More recently, we provided a cru-
cial security role for the Commonwealth
Heads of Government Meeting in Perth
and the visits by the Queen and US
President Barack Obama.
Among all these achievements,
there was also some great work
being done to improve our capability.
We have received three of our five
KC-30A multi-role transport tankers;
our Wedgetail AEW&C completed
its first international exercise; a fifth
C-17A arrived, with a letter of request
sent to purchase a sixth from the US;
and the final four F/A-18F Super
Hornets arrived to make our full com-
plement of 24 aircraft.
Introducing a complex array of
capability, while maintaining operations
without increasing our staffing levels,
acts as a testimony to your ability.
Without you, our Air Force would
not provide the nation with responsive
and decisive airpower.
While the focus is often on our
operators, the basis of our success is
the engineering, logistics and support
behind our aircraft and aircrew.
It is your skills and our comprehen-
sive training system that allow us to
maintain our busy operational tempo
across all of our Australian bases.
For example, our combat support
squadrons carried out the short notice
activation of RAAF Base Learmonth
while continuing to operate the air
bases at Tarin Kot and Al Minhad;
all proof of Air Force's agility and
While we reflect on our successes,
we should not forget the important con-
tribution we are making to Defence's
Strategic Reform Program through the
Air Force Improvement Program. I am
pleased to see our junior airmen and
women making significant contribu-
tions toward improvement activities. It
is these suggestions from the bottom
up that have made some of the biggest
Your commitment to Air Force
Improvement has already delivered
some excellent capability outcomes
while also reducing our costs, and I am
confident this momentum will continue
As we prepare to spend time with
family and friends, my thoughts and I
hope yours, will be with our deployed
personnel who will be a long way
from home this Christmas.
Take care, relax and enjoy the
overdue break. I look forward to
working with you all in 2012. I know
whatever the New Year brings, the
people of Air Force have the skills
and professionalism to respond to the
challenges we may face in 2012.
CAF AIRMSHL GEOFF BROWN
enable them to take the lead for
security in Uruzgan province.
Progress is our legacy to the
soldiers who have been killed and
wounded in action in Afghanistan.
Eleven men were killed this year
and 50 wounded. A total of 32
men have been killed and 213
began in 2001.
We are thinking of
them, their family
and their friends.
you as members of
the ADF and I rec-
ognise the unique
challenges this presents to our fami-
lies. I want to thank them for their
I know many of you will be
separated from family and friends
this festive season. Although this
can be difficult, we have made
arrangements to ensure you still
have the chance to celebrate with
Finally, I wish you and your
family a safe and happy Christmas
and a prosperous New Year. It is a
great privilege to lead this organisa-
tion and I look forward to another
productive and successful year in
amazing level of commitment to
get the job done. Unfortunately,
this is sometimes at the expense of
our family, friends and ourselves.
Please spare a thought for those
personnel who continue to serve
our nation, either
at home or abroad.
To those person-
nel: your selfless
dedication to our
country is appreci-
thank you for your
While I would
like to say next year is going to
be a breeze, the likelihood is that
we will continue to be challenged
across every facet of the organisa-
tion.Personally, I am excited about
these challenges and look forward
to working with you all for the bet-
terment of our Air Force.
I wish you and your families a
merry Christmas and a happy New
CDF MAJGEN DAVID HURLEY
WOFF-AF MARK PENTREATH
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