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July 4, 2013
Flying with the doctors
Reducing alcohol harm
Face of blood donation
SQNLDR Andrew Greaves has been
chosen as this year's Air Force ambas-
sador for the 2013 Defence Blood
Challenge. A pilot based at RAAF
Base East Sale, SQNLDR Greaves was
diagnosed with Myeloma -- cancer of
the bone marrow -- in 2007, and has
required numerous platelet and red
blood cell infusions and one blood
transfusion as part of his treatment. As
ambassador, SQNLDR Greaves said his
aim was to help raise the awareness
of the need for blood donors during
the challenge from September 1 to
THE 1000th Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon
has been delivered. The new vehicles,
along with Australian-made trailers, are
being rolled out to Air Force and Army
units as part of the Land 121 Project
Overlander. The $7.5 billion program
will deliver more than 7500 protected
and unprotected vehicles to the ADF
over the next decade. The new variants
are used as tactical training vehicles
and for a wide range of support tasks.
A total of 2146 G-Wagons are being
rolled out before June 2016.
THE ADF School of Catering, at HMAS
Cerberus, signed a Hospitality Training
and Support Services Contract with
Holmesglen Institute of TAFE on June
7, which will run until the end of June
2018. Trainees will use web-based
resource training, practical demonstra-
tion/assessment plans and be issued
an iPad to access resources. The new
contract will deliver Certificate III in
Commercial Cookery, Certificate III
in Multi-skilling, gastronomy unit
competencies, Hazard Analysis Critical
Control Points and Hospitality Lead
Auditors courses at its Glen Waverley
NEW living-in accommodation
for single ADF members at HMAS
Coonawarra was officially opened
on June 12 at Larrakeyah Barracks.
The accommodation features self-
contained apartments with telephone
and internet access, secure storage for
personal possessions, personal bal-
cony, undercover parking and recrea-
tional facilities. Project Single Living
Environment and Accommodation
Precinct (Single LEAP) Phase 2 will
deliver 3015 units across HMAS
Albatross, RAAF Base Wagga, Blamey
Barracks, Lavarack Barracks, Bandiana,
Simpson Barracks, Duntroon, ADFA,
HMAS Stirling, Campbell Barracks and
RAAF Base Edinburgh.
SQNLDR Paul Lineham
ON ANY given Wednesday in the
Brisbane-based Royal Flying Doctor
Service (RFDS), patients may see
their normal RFDS nurse accom-
panied by a flying suit-clad RAAF
Flight Paramedic or Flight Nurse.
The regular flights by Health
Operational Conversion Unit
(HOCU) instructors to maintain
clinical skills are the brainchild of
the CO, WGCDR Michael Penman,
who undertook similar training while
serving in the New Zealand Defence
"I used to undertake regular fly-
ing duties with a civilian rescue heli-
copter and fixed-wing service, and
that experience complemented my
military flying and kept me current,"
"I thought it was appropriate
we did something similar at HOCU
because we're all instructors, we sit
in a classroom or fly in an airframe,
teaching people using training mis-
sions, so our guys don't get to see
real patients while they're here."
An approach to the RFDS's
Queensland Branch at Brisbane
Airport changed that.
Every Wednesday one of the
HOCU Instructors works alongside
an RFDS Nurse, giving them insight
into how the RFDS conducts its day-
to-day business of retrieving patients
from all over Queensland.
The patients are of varying ages
and conditions, from premature
babies to trauma cases to the elderly.
As all of the instructors are either
Registered Nurses or Endorsed
Enrolled Nurses, they are able to
assist the flight nurse aboard the air-
"This will enable our instructors
to remain current in aeromedical
retrievals and intensive care in the
air, and gain experience that can be
transferred to the military setting,"
WGCDR Penman said.
"Last week my Sergeant had a
long day, hours and hours of flying
with two really sick patients on venti-
lators -- which is about as sick as you
"It was great training and he was
While the flying with the RFDS
gives the HOCU instructors an oppor-
tunity to maintain clinical currency
and refresh their experience with sick
patients, it also gives them an oppor-
tunity to actually meet the people
they may be working with should a
WGCDR Penman said HOCU
would present lectures on the aero-
medical evacuation system on RFDS
courses, and would arrange "Safety
in the Air" demonstrations when the
RFDS students visited RAAF Base
Amberley twice a year.
"The RFDS nurses are also
coming out to fly in a C-17 on our
Military Critical Aero Evacuation
Team course, where we train the
intensive care doctors and nurses,"
The association would be of great
value to both the ADF and RFDS
because while the airframes are very
different in size, the focus is the same
-- the safe carriage of patients to a
SGT Dave Morley
THE ADF was well represented
at the National Drug and Alcohol
Awards held at Parliament House in
Canberra on June 20.
Commander Joint Health
RADM Robyn Walker present-
ed the Defence-sponsored Award
for Excellence in Prevention and
Community Education to the School
Health and Alcohol Reduction
SHAHRP was the first program
in Australia to assess the impact of
an alcohol harm-reduction approach
to school-based alcohol education.
The results show a significant
impact on the amount and type of
alcohol consumed by young people,
and on the harm in alcohol situations.
The program was particularly suc-
cessful with early-risk drinkers.
The sponsorship of the award was
an opportunity to increase awareness
of Defence's commitment to best
practice in the field of alcohol and
other drugs intervention.
RADM Walker said the ADF
aspired to be a leader in the preven-
tion and management of alcohol-
related issues and Defence's engage-
ment with the Alcohol and Other
Drug Sector continued to be a high
"As an organisation, we are
committed to achieving a balance
between encouraging the responsi-
ble use of alcohol and preventing its
misuse as an ongoing element of our
core business," she said.
RADM Walker said Defence
was pleased to be working closely
with the Australian Drug Foundation
to develop the ADF Alcohol
"Our Strategy will provide a
framework for improving alcohol
management within the ADF, reduc-
ing alcohol misuse and its harms,
enhancing organisational capacity
and reducing organisational costs,"
"The ADF Alcohol Behaviour
Expectations Statement and the
ADF Leaders Guide to Alcohol
Management are complete and
we will soon release and the ADF
Hospitality Management Guide."
The National Drug and Alcohol
Awards is an annual event that
acknowledges frontline achievements
in the field of alcohol and other drug
intervention. Senior Defence repre-
sentatives and ADFA cadets attended
the awards night, while the RMC-D
Band entertained the gathering.
The Alcohol Behaviour Expectation
Statement and ADF Leaders Guide to
Alcohol Management can be found at:
Life of service with many twists and turns
SQNLDR Paul Lineham
THE route CO of Health Operational
Conversion Unit (HOCU), WGCDR
Michael Penman, took to joining the Air
Force was anything but direct.
He joined the New Zealand Army in
1990 as a nursing officer after spending
three years in the reserves. Nurses and
dentists in the New Zealand Defence
Force were triservice so he found his
first posting to the Royal New Zealand
WGCDR Penman's first deployment
was to the First Gulf War with the US
Navy and the USN Fleet Hospital 6,
which was a 1000--man, 500-bed tent
"After two years with the RNZN I
was then told I was being posted to the
Army and, by the way, 'You're to be a
paratrooper in charge of the parachute
medical team'," WGCDR Penman said.
He deployed to Bosnia in late-1995,
attached to British Royal Regiment of
Fusiliers, where his ambulance was an
M-113 armoured personnel carrier.
After that he was posted to the New
Zealand Air Force in Auckland, where he
spent a lot of time on rescue missions
in Iroquois helicopters and the civilian
Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
WGCDR Penman said he felt he had
found his niche, only to be told after
four years he was due back in the Army
to be posted to Waiouru, the training
area in the bleak and barren centre of
the North Island.
There were nearby mountains for
skiing but no schools for his children.
"I said no, and the rest is history,"
he said. "I've been in the RAAF now for
12 years and I certainly made the right
After postings to RAAF Bases
Williamtown and Darwin and Canberra,
WGCDR Penman is happily settled into
life at RAAF Base Amberley with HOCU.
TRAINING: Nursing officer FLTLT Hayley Bettanin, of Health Operational Conversion Unit, with Royal Flying
Doctor Service nurse Clayton Judd, left, and pilot captain Steve Wallace.
Photo: LACW Kylie Gibson
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