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June 6, 2013
CAPT Chris Rickey
A MILITARY working dog handler
from RAAF Base Amberley has
become the first female to conduct
aircraft security operations in the
LACW Luck, of 382
Expeditionary Combat Support
Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley,
assumed the role in the MEAO
after completing the Aircraft
Security Operations course as part
of mission training before deploy-
ing.She said her decision to take
up the job wasn't about making
"My sergeant asked if it was
something I was interested in," she
"I thought it was something
different, as far as my career goes,
and it would definitely be good for
On completion of the Aircraft
Security Operations course, LACW
Luck emerged as the first female
and first non-airfield defence guard
to secure the qualification.
She is now putting her skills
into practice at Al Minhad Air Base
in the United Arab Emirates.
LACW Luck said she saw the
qualification as a natural extension
of her career as a military working
dog handler and was surprised by
all the attention.
"I'm pretty much doing it
because it's my job and I enjoy it,"
"I encourage anyone, male or
female, to do it -- it's a great course
and a great experience."
She said duties involved passen-
ger escort, in-flight security, per-
sonal protection and the physical
security of military aviation assets.
"Knowing what the aircraft is
doing at any given time enables
the aircraft security operations
operator to move around an aircraft
correctly, given an emergency situ-
ation such as an imminent threat,
blast or population movement,"
LACW Luck said.
Aircraft security operations in
the MEAO provide support to a
variety of International Security
Assistance Force tasking involv-
ing the movement of passengers
and cargo between Tarin Kot,
Kandahar, Kabul and Al Minhad
COMBAT Support Unit 9 (CSU 9) has
taken over responsibility for airbase com-
bat support operations from its predeces-
sors in the MEAO.
The unit provides support through-
out the Middle East and all ADF units at
Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab
CSU 8, which deployed last
September and comprised Air Force per-
sonnel from more than 27 units across
Australia, completed its mission on
CO CSU 8 WGCDR Allister McInerney
said he was impressed by his unit's
"CSU 8 constantly displayed key Air
Force values of professionalism, devotion
to duty and pride during the deployment,"
he said. "Through the strong coalition
relationships, our personnel made sig-
nificant improvement to force protec-
tion, including regular Force Protection
Working Groups and joint patrolling."
Incoming CO WGCDR Emily Cameron
said she looked forward to the challenges
ahead for CSU 9.
"I will take the reins during a very
busy and challenging time for ADF opera-
tions as we draw down from Afghanistan
and start returning equipment and per-
sonnel to Australia," WGCDR Cameron
"We have until the end of the year to
ensure we have completely removed our-
selves from Tarin Kot.
track to complete our tasks and remain
ready to support anything that may arise."
CSU 9 gives
its support to
ON A RIDE: Military working dog handler LACW Samantha Luck on the
tail ramp of a 36SQN C-130J at Al Minhad Air Base. Photo: PO Phil Cullinan
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