Leading Aircraftman Adam Fry was looking for a career that would challenge him when he joined the Air Force in 2015 as an aeronautical life support fitter.

Leading Aircraftman Fry said he had initially found it difficult to decide between the services when he joined straight from high school.

“One of my best mates joined the Army and he really enjoyed his job, so I almost took that path,” he said.

“Once I started researching life in the Air Force, I ultimately decided it was the direction I wanted to take.

“I grew up in Bundaberg, smaller cities like that always have a big focus on sport so I was always part of a team growing up.

“We learnt about the effects on the human body when it is exposed to high g-forces at different altitudes, it was just fascinating to learn about what the body is able to withstand.

“When you are used to operating as part of a team it seems like an easy transition to an organisation like Defence, where you need to work together to achieve a mission.”

Leading Aircraftman Fry’s job is integral to the safety of the aircrew of No. 1 Squadron.

His duties include the manufacture and repair of safety equipment and ensuring that personal flying equipment is tested and correctly fitted before every flight.

“There is a wide range of equipment that we are responsible for in life support,” Leading Aircraftman Fry said.

“From breathing apparatus, anti-g suits and helmets, to night vision goggles and the explosive ordinance used in rescue flares.

“As well as looking after the equipment, we also deliver the continuation training briefs to aircrew.

“This ensures they are prepared to use the safety equipment in the event of an emergency, where the equipment may be critical to their survival.”

Leading Aircraftman Fry said although all of the technical job training was interesting, one of the areas that really stood out for him was aviation medicine training.

“We learnt about the effects on the human body when it is exposed to high g-forces at different altitudes, it was just fascinating to learn about what the body is able to withstand.

“It is always in the back of our minds that if we don’t do our jobs properly, it can have a pretty big effect on the aircrew.

“Understanding what can go wrong for the aircrew if we don’t do our jobs properly means we are pretty vigilant when we are conducting maintenance.”

Like many jobs in the Air Force, life support fitters are also required to do their job in deployed environments.

“I have just returned from Exercise Thai Boomerang and Elang Ausindo; the month operating out of South-East Asia has been a highlight of my career. I have also previously deployed to the Middle East on Operation Okra and a number of exercises around Australia.

“There are a lot of extra elements to consider while doing my job away from the home base; we have a smaller team and fewer spare parts readily available to keep the equipment operational.

“We become very good at problem solving and finding new and innovative ways to do our jobs while we are on exercise or deployed.”