Advancing Defence's relationships with Japan, the Republic of Korea and India has earned Squadron Leader Dianne Bell a Conspicuous Service Medal in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday honours.
Squadron Leader Bell joined Air Force in 1999, from her hometown of Alice Springs, becoming a C-130H Hercules navigator (now mission aircrew) before undertaking pilot training and then qualifying as a C-130J Hercules pilot in 2012.
Squadron Leader Bell said she was honoured to be recognised for her work in the Air Force Headquarters international engagement team.
“It was a privilege to have the opportunity to work in international engagement, to deepen the relationships with these foreign air forces with a great team around me for the last three years,” Squadron Leader Bell said.
“International engagement underpins so much of what we do now, and to be recognised for that acknowledges all the great work that people are doing in this space.”
The Conspicuous Service Medal citation acknowledged Squadron Leader Bell’s superb contribution in international engagement, which saw her advance regional relationships through bilateral exercises, personnel exchanges, capability development, training, and strategy.
Air Force Directorate of International Engagement is focused on deepening engagement and strengthening relationships with key partners, particularly in support of a stable Indo-Pacific region - a critical element of the Defence Strategic Update and the Air Force Strategy.
Squadron Leader Bell said her experiences with the C-130 had shaped her initial understanding of the importance of international engagement.
“I had spent 17 years working at the tactical level of international engagement through C-130 support to operations in the near region and further abroad – I particularly enjoyed my role in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions,” Squadron Leader Bell said.
“My time in international engagement at the strategic level meant I was able to understand the why, and better articulate that to tactical-level units.
“I’ve since posted back to No. 37 Squadron, and I look forward to using these skills to help others understand how C-130s contribute to the international sphere in support of the Air Force Strategy.”