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November 7, 2013
FLTLT Emma Craven-
MEMBERS of Headquarters 395
Expeditionary Combat Support
Wing (HQ 395ECSW) rolled
up their sleeves to participate in
the Defence Blood Challenge at
the Ipswich donation centre on
Leading the 10-strong group
was Commanding Officer HQ
395ECSW WGCDR Ian Wooding
who said this year he decided to
arrange a team of 395ECSW mem-
bers to do its part towards the chal-
"This initiative encourages
members to donate urgently needed
blood supplies to help save lives,"
WGCDR Wooding said.
The group included permanent
and reserve personnel and an APS
member, and half were first-time
"I was very impressed by the
courage and commitment shown by
those who donated from 395ECSW,
particularly those who donated for
the first time," WGCDR Wooding
"395ECSW have made their own
small contribution to an important
The 10 donations will contribute
to saving the lives of 30 people.
395ECSW, which is transi-
tioning to No. 95 Wing in 2014 as
part of the Combat Support Group
restructure, will continue to sup-
port the Red Cross Blood Service
through group donations throughout
CPL Max Bree
IN THE midst of a busy week, Deputy
Chief of Air Force AVM Leo Davies
found time to donate blood in Canberra
on October 25.
"I think the statistics clearly show that
Australians are not typically strong blood
donors," AVM Davies said.
"I think if I can find the time to come
down and do it maybe others can too."
AVM Davies first donated during the
Blood Challenge last year but kept at it
because his mother has a type of myeloid
"She needs semi-regular blood trans-
fusions and I'm trying to do my bit to
keep the blood pool going."
As an avid motorcyclist involved in
the Long Ride, AVM Davies hopes to
encourage Defence riders to donate more
"There are quite a few motorcycle
accidents each year and riders can do
something to help by donating blood --
even if it's their only contribution," he
said.And prospective blood donors had
nothing to fear from the process, accord-
ing to AVM Davies.
"It's like any injection," he said.
"There's a prick as the needle goes in but
it's not painful at all."
He said he didn't want to see Army
win the challenge so easily, "so we're
going to give them a nudge".
to the tally
TEAM EFFORT: HQ 395ECSW personnel standing from left, Gillian Burgess, FLTLT Emma Craven-
Griffiths, LACW Abby Green, CPL Kylie Higgs, FLTLT John Taverner, SGT Simon Dell, WOFF Marty
Lawrence and (seated) WGCDR Ian Wooding. Everyone pictured donated blood at the Ipswich
donation centre in early October.
DCAF plays his part
DOING HIS BIT: DCAF AVM Leo Davies gives blood in Canberra.
Photo: CPL Max Bree
The Defence Blood Challenge has
passed the halfway mark with Air
Force recording 747 donations
with the potential to save more
than 2200 lives. Army is leading
with 911 donations, with Navy
recording 487. 1400 blood dona-
tions are still needed to meet this
year's target of 4000.
The challenge runs until
November 30. To make
your donation count, visit
defence and register.
F-35s on track for delivery
CPL Max Bree
AS AUSTRALIA'S first F-35A
-- commonly known as the Joint
Strike Fighter -- rolls along the
assembly-line, Air Force's first
squadron is on track to be opera-
tional in 2020, according to New
Air Combat Capability Project
Manager AVM Kym Osley.
AVM Osley was at the F-35A
manufacturing plant Fort Worth
in Texas on October 7 when the
RAAF's first F-35A came together.
"They put the three parts of the
fuselage together and installed the
wings," AVM Osley said.
"We expect the first Australian
F-35A to come off the production
line in July 2014 and the second in
After production is complete, the
jets will fly to Luke Air Force Base
in Arizona to be used in the pilot
"They will be integrated into a
US Air Force squadron as part of
the pilot training continuum," AVM
"We expect our first Australian
pilot to start training in early 2015.
There will be more people training
in the years after that and we expect
our first aircraft to be in Australia in
The first operational squadron
of F-35As, which will be No. 3
Squadron, should be up and running
by the end of 2020.
AVM Osley said the new
F-35As came in slightly less than
the expected $130 million for each
aircraft and future aircraft were
expected to reduce further in price.
"It is pleasing to see that the
program has been able to get the
price of the aircraft down, with the
aircraft costs in each successive
annual production run coming in
below the previous year, and below
US Government estimated costs,"
He said the program had under-
gone significant testing but about
60 per cent was still to be complet-
"In terms of testing there are no
show stoppers at this point in time,"
"Now they're up to dropping air-
to-air and air-to-ground telemetry
weapons. Later this year they will
be seeing the first live 'all up' mis-
siles and bombs to test end-to-end
performance and accuracy."
With system development and
testing of the aircraft being done
by the Joint Program Office and
Lockheed Martin in the US, the
main job of the RAAF was to
prepare for the integration of the
F-35A into RAAF service, accord-
ing to AVM Osley.
EXCITING FUTURE: US F-35s in action. The RAAF's F-35A
aircraft are expected to roll off the production line next year.
Photo: Lockheed Martin
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