MILESTONE: RAAF Base Amberley hosted the Graduation Parade of the Airfield Defence Guard basic course.
MILESTONE: RAAF Base Amberley hosted the Graduation Parade of the Airfield Defence Guard basic course. PETER LONGLAND

Airfield Defence Guard graduates get set for new journey

THE latest graduating group of Airfield Defence Guards has been sent on their way with a message to embrace change and enjoy the challenge of their new career.

RAAF Base Amberley hosted the Graduation Parade of the Airfield Defence Guard basic course.

Wing Commander Andrew McHugh, Commanding Officer of RAAF Security and Fire School was the host officer.

The parade commander was Flying Officer Samuel Goldspring, parade Warrant Officer was Lloyd Schneider and the course instructor was Sergeant Chris Hey.

Group Captain Simon Sauer gave the graduation speech, saying it was his honour to be the reviewing officer for the graduation parade.

"I am sure I reflect the sentiments of all in attendance when I say that you have brought great credit upon yourselves, your instructors and the school through your successful completion of this demanding course and your ceremonial demonstration today," Group Captain Sauer said.

"To the commanding officer and all associated RAAF Security and Fire School staff, particularly the course instructors, thank you for your efforts and a job well done.

"To the families and friends who are here to celebrate the success of the graduating class, I offer special thanks. Some of you will have travelled a considerable distance to be here and I am confident that the graduates today are heartened by having you here to share in this most memorable event."

He congratulated the graduates on achieving a significant milestone in your career.

"I am sure that your training to date has been both challenging and rewarding in various measures along the way," he said.

"Now you stand poised for the next leg of your journey as you proceed on posting to an operational unit."

Group Captain Sauer suggested they take the time to reflect.

"You all will have changed since day one in the Air Force, be it maturity, fitness or the learning of practical skills designed to secure aircraft and air bases," he said.

"Time will get away from you quickly. I know. Today's parade is my last official duty in the Permanent Air Force.

"Mine has been a 26-year journey and it has been an absolute blast. Yes, it has had its good days and bad days but in the main there are no regrets, lots of excellent memories and some outstanding friendships - people who I would happily go to war with. Believe me, there is no greater test of friendship."

The graduates joined the Air Force at an exciting time, he said.

"Yes there is a lot of change but change is inevitable. Think of change as the positive challenge that it is," he said.

"The Air Force is evolving. Soon the C-130J will be the oldest aircraft that we fly and it has only been in service 13 years.

"Change and a significant Operation Tempo mean that you will be busy. Embrace the challenge."

Group Captain Sauer counselled the graduates to call on the experience of others.

"There is a wealth of experience waiting for you at the units and the next stage of your career will be far easier for you to identify a mentor, someone who you respect for their leadership, values and technical and professional mastery," he said.

Group Captain Sauer presented berets to the graduates after they were blessed by Chaplain Steve Turnbull.


Posts to Amberley include:

  • Aircraftman DAVID ROINE. Formerly fruit picker and a concreter, David Roine is from Caboolture.
  • Aircraftman TAVIS FRIEDRICHS. Tavis worked as a slaughter man for 12 years before working as a metal fabricator.
  • Aircraftman KEEGAN WILLIAMS. From Wagga Wagga, Josh worked at Super Amart.
  • Aircraftman MICHAEL EDOUARD. Michael is from Melbourne and he worked as a salesman at Kia Motors.
  • Aircraftman KWANELE DIALLO. Kwanele Diallo is from Guinea and worked as a personal trainer and waiter.


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