A First for Aircraft Security
23 November 2015
It's an exciting time to be a part of the evolving Security Forces trade within Air Force following the first enduring employment of Air Force Security (AFSEC) personnel on Aircraft Security Operations (ASO) in the Middle East.
ASO duties involve protecting aircraft, crew, passengers and cargo on the ground and during flights across the area of operations, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
Flight Lieutenant Jason Gillon, Officer in Charge of the current Force Protection Flight for the Middle East Combat Support Unit, said AFSEC members bring their expertise of airfield security operations to the team.
"The AFSEC members join with our Airfield Defence Guards and Air Force Police personnel to make a complete security package," he said.
"The Airfield Defence Guards bring a war-fighter capability to the protection of people and assets in potentially hostile situations, while the Air Force police have excellent skills for managing and de-escalating situations.
"The AFSEC personnel deal with base and aircraft security everyday back in Australia, so they have a finely detailed knowledge of the overall planning and running of Air Force security operations."
Leading Aircraftsman Sean Gillett is normally an AFSEC dog handler in Australia; however he has left his best friend at home to take on the job of aircraft security.
"It's taken a lot of training to be deployed in the ASO role," he said.
"However, the results have been worth it.
"My job is more dynamic: previously I would have had to stay on a base guarding empty planes.
"Now I get to fly with the aircraft rather than watch it fly away.
"Working with the pilots, air specialists and logisticians also has given broader insight into what Air Force does as an organisation.
"After all, that's what Air Force is all about – using aircraft and people to get the job done."