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The natural choice for health cover
April 25, 2013
FLTLT Nicholas O'Connor
ONE of Air Force's most experienced
technical trainers, WOFF Ian 'Beetle'
Bailey, has clocked up half a century of
service in Air Force.
WOFF Bailey's 50 years in uniform
were commemorated last month at the
2013 Australian International Airshow
at Avalon when CAF AIRMSHL Geoff
Brown presented him with a set of Air
Force commemorative coins and thanked
him for his long and dedicated service.
The aircraft technician has served
20 years in the PAF and 30 years in
the reserves at 21SQN, RAAF Base
When asked what were his most sig-
nificant career highlights, WOFF Bailey
said he would first be tempted to respond
with something unremarkable.
"However, when you take the time to
sift through and analyse memories, you
realise just how rich and rewarding and
unique each member's career is to them,
and perhaps to others," he said.
"Not only did the Air Force provide
excellent trade and career training, some-
thing I can attest to with some credibility
considering my time and experience in
the training and engineering environ-
ments, but also the human values of
honour, honesty, mateship, loyalty and
generally looking out for each other."
WOFF Bailey's career began at 15
when he enlisted as an engineering
apprentice in January 1963.
He did training at the RAAF School
of Technical Training and graduated as
an engine fitter in June 1965.
He said this period was an important
part of his career because "it shaped the
attitudes, trade skills and personal values
that underpinned the principles and eth-
ics that I have attempted to live by".
"Technical and military skills instruc-
tion was provided by role models that
believed in what they did and in the
outcomes that were desired. Their collec-
tive influence offered significant guiding
choices, framed with integrity and per-
sonal pride," WOFF Bailey said.
"On enlistment and during trade
training, my focus was getting out there
and putting into practice the skills I had
acquired. In those days, I certainly did
not contemplate the notion that I would
be one day instructing in the school I
had been trained in or recruiting from
the centre I had enlisted in, but the twists
and turns that shape a career, often with-
out any apparent logic, are bountiful and
rich in the rewards they bring."
He said some of the most valuable
aspects of his career were the opportuni-
ties to gain experience on a diversity
of aircraft, systems and projects in an
assortment of locations and in a variety
"I believe I have been fortunate in
having the opportunities to maintain and
manage the scope of aircraft and associ-
ated equipment that I have, ranging from
the piston-engined Dakotas, Winjeel,
CT4 and Caribou; turbo prop Hercules
and HS748, and gas turbined Mirage,
Macchi and F/A-18," he said.
As a reservist at 21SQN, his role was
to manage aircraft maintenance until fly-
ing ceased at Laverton. His career then
took a slightly different direction when
he was posted in as the OIC Training
Management Section, responsible for
the management and administration of
officer initial training, recruit and initial
"I also worked for the RAAF School
of Administration and Logistics Training
as an approved assessor and instructors
course instructor, and have been fortu-
nate in not only having course involve-
ment at the school in Wagga, but also
delivering training and assessment at
other bases," he said.
Of his many career highlights, what
stood out the most was "the immense
enjoyment of my 50 years in the Air
"I am grateful for the opportunities
and immense personal satisfaction it has
provided, and I truly appreciate the sup-
port from my family, especially putting
up with all those working weekends,
postings and attachments away," he said.
Together to inspire
2013 Special Release Medallions
For details visit
PROUD MOMENT: WOFF Ian Bailey displays the commemorative coins
presented to him by CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown, pictured left inset with
him, for achieving 50 years of service.
Photos: CPL Glen McCarthy
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