Home' Air Force News : March 1st 2012 Contents This painting is the most accurate depiction to date of the dawn landing at
Anzac Cove on 25th April 1915. Brigadier Chris Roberts AM, CSC (Rtd)
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March 1, 2012
Soldiers get first passenger
ride on tanker at Amberley
Andrew Stackpool and
CPL Max Bree
A BADLY injured sailor from a mer-
chant ship off the West Australian coast
is receiving medical attention at Royal
Perth hospital thanks to the fortunate
deployment of 79SQN to Learmonth.
The sailor was aeromedically
evacuated to Learmonth by the CHC
Bell 412 search and rescue helicopter,
which had deployed in support of the
The drama started when the crew-
man aboard the merchant ship MV
Krousson fell and suffered spinal inju-
ries on the morning of February 21.
At the time the ship was 453km
north-west of Dampier, en route to
The ship contacted the Australian
Maritime Safety Authority's rescue
coordination centre, which requested
25SQN's search and rescue officer
then tasked the helicopter.
At the same time, Krousson altered
course towards Exmouth and a desig-
nated rendezvous point off the coast.
The AME was scheduled for 5pm
local time and the helo lifted off with
a RCC Dornier, Rescue 461, based in
NUMBER 33 Squadron's KC-30A
tanker has flown its first official
load of passengers out of RAAF
The flight on February 13 car-
ried 75 Army personnel to RAAF
Base Townsville for a training
Cabin manager FSGT Talwyn
Davies said the flight gave them
the opportunity to assess the
aircraft's systems, processes and
"We came out of the whole
exercise with flying colours,"
FSGT Davies said.
The flight was an important
step towards reaching initial oper-
ational capability (IOC) with the
KC-30A, expected to occur later
FSGT Davies said while the
passenger flight was an important
milestone, IOC would be achieved
when the tanker could take on a
full squadron of passengers, their
cargo and refuel that's squadron's
The KC-30A can carry a load
of up to 270 passengers, with space
in lower cargo decks for military
pallets or luggage containers.
HQ 7 Brigade Movements
SGT Kathleen Kindness said the
aircraft was a great asset. "It will
be great when it comes online; we
definitely will use it," she said.
Perth tasked to provide top cover for
However, due to operational limita-
tions of the helo, the evacuation was
delayed by an hour.
4EHS nursing officer FLGOFF
Raelene Lahiff, supporting the 79SQN
deployment, was also drafted into the
"One of the CHC (rescue) guys said
to me 'how do you feel about being
winched onto a ship?'."
But just one helo crewman was
needed to winch down and collect the
injured sailor, thanks to the prepara-
tions of the ship's crew, according to
rescue pilot Jack Zeid.
"Often we have to wait while we
winch the crewman and medical per-
son down while they talk to the ship
about the patient and then prepare them
for winching up. In this case they had
him on a spinal board and wrapped up,
ready to go," he said.
Despite missing out on the winch-
ing, FLGOFF Lahiff was in charge of
the patient once he made it to the chop-
"He was actually quite stable when
we got there," she said.
"Still it was quite challenging try-
ing to do that risk assessment (on the
patient) in the back of a noisy cramped
helicopter. He had a bit of pain coming
into land so we had to slow the descent
Mr Zeid said he was called at
8.30am and asked if they were avail-
able for a possible aeromedical evac-
uation and then warned out about
They took off at 5.30pm and arrived
at the ship shortly after 6pm.
"He was conscious and in a lot of
pain but he could move his fingers and
toes and was in a reasonable condi-
tion," Mr Zeid said.
Then, with the rescue completed
safely, the helo returned to Learmonth
where the patient was transferred on
a gurney to a waiting Royal Flying
Doctor Service aircraft, which trans-
ported him to Perth.
"He thanked us after we landed and
the ship also thanked us as we depart-
ed, which was nice," Mr Zeid said.
FLGOFF Lahiff was excited to have
been on the mission but was keen to
play down her role in the rescue.
"It's one of the reasons I chose to
do nursing in the Air Force and not the
civilian world. You come to work and
you don't know what's going to hap-
pen," she said.
"It's part of our job, I didn't feel
like I did anything extra special or
more than anything I've been trained
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