Electronic engineer Flight Lieutenant Sarah Blacklock always dreamed of a career in the Air Force and now it has soared to new heights.
From a young age, Flight Lieutenant Blacklock proved to be a high flyer growing up under the wing of her father who was a Royal Australian Air Force fighter controller.
Flight Lieutenant Blacklock began her Air Force career after completing high school, enrolling in an undergraduate sponsorship program to study engineering at the Australian National University.
“I wanted a chance to do things not many junior engineers get the opportunity to do. Being able to make decisions at my age and have such autonomy is something I wouldn’t find elsewhere,” Flight Lieutenant Blacklock said.
She grew up in Amaroo, Canberra, and is now deployed on Operation Accordion supporting the Theatre Communications Group Nine (TCG-9).
Currently the Communications Nodal Commander at an ADF operating base in the Middle East, Flight Lieutenant Blacklock is responsible for a team of six communication technicians and controllers.
“Our role is to maintain the communication infrastructure for ICT, phone and radio equipment," she said.
“We also maintain the communications network of Australian equipment in support of KC-30A Air-to-Air refuelling missions."
Flight Lieutenant Blacklock oversees the development and implementation of networks that suit the needs of all members in location, as well as investigating engineering solutions.
“Without communications, this location would be cut off and unable to complete any missions,” she said.
Flight Lieutenant Blacklock’s partner, Liam, is an aerospace engineering officer at 33SQN and also deployed this year.
“Being away from family has been difficult, but it has been really nice to have the support of the whole camp here,” Flight Lieutenant Blacklock said.
She will return home to Adelaide where she will reunite with Liam and her two dogs, Luna and Norbert.
The TCG-9 deployed in September 2019 to the Middle East and will handover to TCG-10 next month.