Home' Air Force News : February 2nd 2012 Contents SGT Mark Spedding
December 20 1971 --
January 1, 2012
SGT Mark Spedding was more affection-
ately known as Speddo to his friends,
family, work colleagues and even his
Speddo was a dedicated and decorated
member of the Air Force.
He joined at age 18, gave his service for
more than 21 years and served in operations
Bastille, Falconer, Larry Assist, Catalyst and
He was actively involved in the social
aspects of the Air Force and could be relied
upon to volunteer or assist whenever he could
for a mate or a club that he was involved in.
Speddo was as maroon as a Queenslander
could get and was a keen fisherman. It was
commented upon more than once that for a
rugby player, Speddo was a great fisherman,
but that never stopped him from giving his all.
He was a dedicated father who adored his
family above all else.
SGT Spedding is survived by his wife Suzi
and daughter Madi.
A photo of SGT Spedding was unavailable at the time
of going to print.
February 2, 2012
October 3, 1959 --
December 12, 2011
WGCDR Grant Stuchbury,
affectionately known as
Stuch, was a friend, mate,
mentor, father, husband, leader and
beyond everything else someone
that you could always count on to
have your back.
It was with a great sense of loss
that the Joint Battlefield Airspace
Control (JBAC) and wider Air
Force community farewelled Stuch
on December 22 in a full military
funeral at Salamander Bay Uniting
church and Anna Bay cemetery,
after he died in his sleep on
Stuch joined the Air Force in
February 1982. After qualifying
as an armament fitter he served
at 2 Flying Training School and
3SQN before commissioning as an
air traffic control officer in 1990.
His distinguished service career
spanned almost 30 years.
Grant served at a number of
bases including Tindal, Pearce,
Edinburgh and Williamtown.
He held a number of very sig-
nificant staff positions over the
years in Headquarters 44WG at
Grant was also widely recog-
nised for his tireless commitment to
advancing the professional mastery
of his specialisation, including
making a major contribution to the
successful transformation of the Air
Traffic Control category into the
He was awarded an Air
Commander Australia commenda-
tion for this particular effort.
Grant served extensively in
the Middle East on Operations
Falconer, Catalyst and Slipper.
He became one of a small team
that wears the Meritorious Unit
Citation for conducting air traffic
control operations in Baghdad dur-
Among Grant's other awards, he
also earned the Australian Active
Service Medal and the Iraq and
Afghanistan Campaign medals.
These achievements highlight the
significant contribution he made to
both the Air Force and his country;
achievements that cannot be under-
Stuch, as well as being known
for his dedication and passion for
his chosen career path and category
that he loved, was also known for
his love of the surf. Stories regale
of the number of surf boards that
Stuch managed to accumulate and
most in a particular colour blue.
There was never a week that
passed where Stuch could not be
found out in the surf in the early
morning. In fact on the morning
that he died his alarm was set to
head out for a surf.
Stuch was a dedicated husband
and father to his wife Teena and his
children Caitlin, 16, and Nathan,
14. Stuch set a fine example to
all around him with his work/life
balance and family values. While
being dedicated to the Air Force
and his workmates, it was clear to
all that his family came first. An
example of this was when Teena
was diagnosed with cancer early
in 2011 while Grant was attend-
ing Command and Staff College
in Bandung. Without any hesita-
tion he withdrew himself from
the course so that the family as a
whole could return to Australia
for appropriate care and support.
April 30, 1951 --
December 14, 2011
THE Air Force health service lost
one of its most dedicated and
respected members shortly before
Christmas when WGCDR Cate Phelan
died after a short illness.
Although an aspiring pianist as a
child, Cate followed in her sister's foot-
steps and was called to nursing, training
at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney.
Having grown up with stories of her
father's service in the Air Force, Cate
had an affinity with military life.
She joined the Army in 1980 as the
Air Force was not recruiting, but trans-
ferred to the Air Force five years later
serving with distinction in both full-
time and reserve capacities for the next
Cate was an old-school, hands-on,
no-nonsense nurse. The sharpness of
her mitred corners and ability to bounce
a coin from a precisely made bed were
legendary; however, she rated patient
care above all else.
Cate's generous spirit brought out
the best in people and she was a mentor
and role model.
She loved the Air Force and we were
all privileged to be considered part of
her second family.
There were many highlights in her
distinguished career, including work-
ing at 4 RAAF Hospital in Butterworth
where she assisted many a new life
into the world, served as senior nursing
officer, RAAF Base Pearce, received
honours and awards, and d
Operation Belisi in 1999.
3 RAAF Hospital beca
second home. She had fou
postings there, including a
CO.Cate had a commandin
and a parade ground voice
rival any WOD. This made
ous choice for important p
tions such as the Queen's C
and Governor-General's B
she always did us proud.
Never one to shy away
lenge, Cate transferred to t
Reserve in 1999 and heade
Arabia where she managed
services in a 1000-bed hos
returned to Australia to car
ageing mother Marie in 20
ferred to the Active Reserv
(City of Sydney) Squadron
Cate was offered the op
to return to 3 Hospital in 2
time duty as the OIC of Ae
Evacuation (AME) trainin
Cate was a born teacher
impressive stage presence fo
speaking and lectures. She s
clarity and substance and to
point would end with her tra
bloody lutely". Cate was als
the next generation of AME
inaugural team trained on th
the US Air Force in Hawaii
Cate was promoted to W
2010 and transferred back
duty as Deputy Director E
and AME services. This w
proud moment for her belo
and would have made her
her prized schnauzer "chil
did a tour on
e her the obvi-
from a chal-
ed to Saudi
re for her
004 and trans-
ve, No. 22
2007 on full-
and had an
o reinforce a
so a pioneer of
he C-17A by
was a very
Dad Ces (and
FLTLT Shane Dryden
February 25, 1971 --
December 30, 2011
FLTLT Dryden enlisted in the Air
Force as an airborne electron-
ics analyst in 1989. He was a P3
aviator for the vast majority of his ca-
reer serving at 10, 11 and 292SQNs
as well as an instructional posting to
the School of Air Warfare.
His outstanding professionalism
and enthusiasm for the Air Force
way of life and for flying saw him
develop as an outstanding leader
and mentor to those he instructed
and worked with.
A laconic and superficially laid-
back character, FLTLT Dryden was
an extremely sharp operator and his
superior tactical acumen and leader-
ship skills in both the training or
operational environment were relied
on by his commanders.
He served on Operations Slipper
and Catalyst, where his contribution
as the standards officer in the AP-3C
detachment was critical to the Task
Group. Additionally, FLTLT Dryden
deployed on various operations
including Gateway, Solania, Resolute
Outside work, Shane was a keen
sportsman whether partaking or
watching. He represented the Air
Force at rugby league and he also
had a love of motor sport throughout
To his friends, Shane was
renowned as an excellent operator
but, more importantly, as a supporter
and instigator of social activities. He
was at the forefront of developing
and promoting the Adelaide chapter
of VPI; an international organisation
dedicated to the fellowship between
fellow maritime aviators.
His commitment to VPI reflects
FLTLT Dryden's belief in the need
for maritime aviators to be com-
pletely professional, yet dedicated
to the social aspects of the role.
The phrase "larger than life"
epitomises FLTLT Shane Dryden.
His friends are better people for hav-
ing known him and despite his loss,
will always remember a never ending
enthusiasm for the Air Force, flying
and for life.
WGCDR Grant Stuchbury
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