Service Warrant Officers visited ADF members in the Middle East Region
23 February 2015
For the first time in ADF history the three service Warrant officers have made a joint visit to the operational regions of the Middle East Region.
Warrant Officer – Navy Martin Holzberger, CSC, Warrant Officer – Air Force Mark Pentreath, CSM and Regimental Sergeant Major – Army Warrant Officer David Ashley made an unprecedented tour of the MER, visiting deployed troops in Afghanistan.
The contingent was joined by Warrant Officer - Joint Operations, Dave Devlin who was available to answer operational questions.
In Afghanistan the trio visited Australians stationed at Kabul, working at Kabul Afghanistan International Airport – North (KAIA-N) and Resolution Support Headquarters; Kandahar Air Field and its surrounds including Camp Qargha within the Afghan National Officer Academy (ANAOA), the Afghan led 205th Hero Corps, including the Kandahar Regional Military Hospital; and finally Train Advise and Assist Command – South.
RSM-A WO1 Ashley said there was many highlights from this trip.
“I am very impressed by our 1RAR soldiers who comprise the Force Protection Element, from command and leadership to their professional actions as soldiers are some of the best I’ve ever seen.
It’s also great to see out bushmaster crews from the Royal Australian Corps of Transport doing a great job as well.
“I’m amazed upon meeting a group of our people, you have to look hard to see which service they belong, you have to look for their badges of rank or ‘Air Force’ or ‘Navy’ on their uniforms - they work so well together and that says a lot about the ADF.”
WOFF - AF Pentreath said visits like this were important.
“Airmen and women, soldiers, and sailors have an opportunity to engage with their service warrant officers,” he said.
“By sending the three service Warrant Officers the Chiefs have given a very clear message that the higher echelons of ADF want to know about their people, they care about their people and certainly the areas of operation are not forgotten about.”
WO - N Holzberger said this was the first time the three service Warrant Officers have ever done a visit like this.
“In my opinion there’s two key things here, there is the ability for our sailors, soldiers, airmen and women to be able to talk to their senior service representative,” he said.
“The other thing is for us to get an appreciation as the service warrant officers - when we are back speaking to the senior leadership group of our respective services about what it is our people are doing, and the challenges that they are facing, and if there is anything that they need or want, we can make sure they are get it.”
WO-N Holzberger went on to visit the Australian naval asset, HMAS Success, currently operating in the MER under Task Group 53, and had the chance to chat with her company of 235 sailors and officers while alongside in the Arabian Gulf.