RAAF Family Deployment
11 May 2016
A unique family reunion between two Royal Australian Air Force members is taking place in the Middle East region.
Warrant Officer Ron Reid is deployed to Australia’s main air operating base in the Middle East, as part of the Combat Support Unit 15 Logistics Section supporting the Operation OKRA Air Task Group.
His eldest daughter, Corporal Teighan Reid, is likewise deployed to the Middle East, working a short drive away at Australia's main support base in the region.
When they're home in Australia, the family are similarly split between two different Air Force bases.
Warrant Officer Reid, his wife Jenny, and youngest daughter Brooke, live near RAAF Base Williamtown near Newcastle while Corporal Teighan Reid lives close to RAAF Base Richmond in Sydney's outer suburbs.
The deployed pair arrived in the Middle East separately in March 2016 where they are working as Suppliers.
Warrant Officer Reid said having his daughter in the logistics trade is a good thing.
"As a Warrant Officer I need to know what is going on at all levels, and by discussing work matters with Teighan at her level, it helps me to better understand my job," Warrant Officer Reid said.
"Things have changed a lot since I was a Corporal, so it helps to be able to ask her certain work-related questions without the fear of being made to look silly."
Corporal Reid agreed that it was great having her Dad also deployed on the same Operation, albeit at a different base.
"I often ring up my Dad and ask him for some Warrant Officer-ly advice," Corporal Reid joked.
"We catch up on the phone often and discuss family matters - particularly about what mum and Brooke are doing back home."
Warrant Officer Reid is on his fourth deployment and Corporal Reid her second. This plays heavily on Jenny Reid's mind having half her family so far away from home.
"Both Ron and Teighan will miss Brooke's 21st birthday this year which is saddening, but it can't be helped," Jenny Reid said.
"We catch up regularly via Skype and Facebook, so I'm sure we'll be able to do something like that for her birthday."
Both deployed family members have plans to make it up to the younger family member by returning to Australia simultaneously for their mid-term deployment leave.
"We won't be back in Australia for Brooke's actual birthday, but surprising her a few weeks prior is better than missing the occasion all together – we'll still make it special for her," Warrant Officer Reid said.
"It will be a long time away, but when we get back home the reunion will be all the more special for our family.
"I know there are a lot of families in a simular situation, and the fact that I have one my daughters over here with me makes it a little easier."
The ATG of Operation OKRA is operating at the request of the Iraqi Government within a US-led international coalition assembled to disrupt and degrade Daesh operations in the Middle East Region (MER). The ATG comprises six RAAF F/A-18A Hornet fighter aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail airborne command and control aircraft, and a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport air-to-air refuelling aircraft. Additionally, the ATG has personnel working in the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, and embedded with the 'KingPin' US tactical Command and Control Unit.
The ATG is directly supported by elements of Operation ACCORDIAN including the Theatre Communications Group, Air Mobility Task Group, and the Combat Support Unit, whose mission is to provide continuous combat support to sustain air operations in the MER. There are up to 350 personnel deployed, at any one time, as part of, or in direct support of the ATG.