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April 25, 2013
FLTLT William Todd
WITH the annual Air Force Leadership
and Proficiency Awards being handed
out at individual bases for the first time
this year, one unit happy to accept its
trophy on home soil was the School of
Air Traffic Control (SATC).
It was awarded the Stonehaven
Trophy for most proficient training unit.
OC Air Training Wing GPCAPT
Glen Coy presented the trophy to CO
SATC WGCDR Nick Dyce-McGowan
at RAAF Base East Sale on March 27.
WGCDR Dyce-McGowan said 2012
was a monumental year in the evolution
of Air Force air traffic control training.
"With the advent of the change in
category from air traffic control to Joint
Battlefield Airspace Controller (JBAC)
in 2010, moves were initiated to change
the way we train our workforce to pro-
duce a higher quality graduate," he said.
"Therefore, they would be more
able to provide increased flexibility and
operational advantages to the service."
He said last year the new JBAC
course was introduced, which included
elements of basic and advanced tower
control using a joint military-civil air-
base construct, tactical tower and
approach control in the procedural (non-
radar) environment and a more robust
airspace planner phase.
"These phases combined with state-
of-the-art simulator technology have put
the Air Force at the forefront of global
ATC training," he said.
"It has allowed SATC to realise the
goal of creating a more rounded and
able military controller prior to them
commencing on-the-job training at the
He said SATC staff worked long
hours, often under high workloads, to
achieve course outcomes, as well as vol-
unteering for numerous extra-curricular
activities on base and in the wider com-
"SATC possesses 12 per cent of
the JBAC workforce but consistently
provides 25 per cent of our deployed
personnel in support of operations,"
WGCDR Dyce-McGowan said.
"The Air Force is a world leader in
professional training and to be awarded
as the most proficient training establish-
ment in such a service is a high honour."
SATC revels in winning
for best training unit
trophy for most
unit from OC ATW
Coy at RAAF
Base East Sale.
Photo courtesy SATC
FLTLT Phil Mayne
ABOUT 40 female ADF current and
trainee aircrew got the chance to hear
from the Air Force's most senior lead-
ers this month at the Flying Females
Breakfast at ADFA.
CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown,
DCAF AVM Leo Davies and ACAUST
AVM Mel Hupfeld shared their experi-
ences with pilots from the three services
and trainees on April 3.
The aim of the breakfast was to
introduce trainee female aircrew from
ADFA to Flying Females, a support and
mentoring network for all ADF female
CAF also took the opportunity to
launch Flying Solo, a magazine-style
booklet that provides practical advice
for female trainees.
"Becoming a pilot is challenging,"
AIRMSHL Brown said. "Only small
numbers who have the skills, aptitude,
personality and intellect to succeed are
selected for the pilots' course.
"Aviation demands the very high-
est standards, but Air Force works very
hard to give all students on the pilots'
course the best opportunity to succeed."
BUILDING NETWORKS: SQNLDR Samantha Freebairn addresses attendees at the third annual Flying
Females Breakfast at ADFA. Above inset, CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown flips through the new Flying Solo
handbook with OFFCDT Essie Broadbent.
Photos: CPL Guy Young
CAF said military aviation was a
challenging career choice, but for those
who succeeded, the satisfaction and
rewards were enormous.
"Men and women have different
learning styles, which is why Air Force
is working to address these different
styles through course delivery and train-
ing methods to help even the playing
field," he said.
"I would encourage all student
pilots, but young women in particu-
lar, to use all the resources and support
available to them, including mentoring
CAF also commended the team
responsible for compiling Flying Solo,
much of the content of which was driv-
en by research undertaken by GPCAPT
SQNLDR Sam Freebairn, of
36SQN, is one of the key drivers behind
the Flying Females.
She said it was the third year they
had held the breakfast.
"It's an important event because it
helps raise awareness among female
trainee aircrew of what to expect during
flying training," she said.
"It basically lets the ADFA girls
know the difficulties they may face dur-
ing their training, but more importantly
it establishes support networks.
"I know there are still some old atti-
tudes out there and in my experience
those attitudes have certainly evolved.
But these women need to be aware of
the hurdles they may face."
SQNLDR Freebairn, who is now
back flying after several years on mater-
nity leave and in ground-based roles,
said that in the past there was little flex-
ibility for female pilots returning from
"As a result we lost a lot of senior
women," she said.
"We now have four female pilots
who have had kids and are back in the
air, so that barrier has been well and
"There is certainly career progres-
sion for women who want to fly."
Flying Solo covers strategies for
women working in male-dominated
areas and the different learning styles
between men and women, outlines how
to identify and deal with inappropri-
ate behaviour, addresses myths about
women and flying, and contains a list of
contacts for the network.
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