Mitigating potential issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer to an already challenging role for Lismore local, Flight Lieutenant Chloe Lowndes.

She is the Operation Accordion Environmental Health Officer at the Role-1 Health Facility at the ADF’s main operating base in the Middle East.

Flight Lieutenant Lowndes is responsible for identifying, evaluating and mitigating public and environmental hazards that pose health risks to ADF and coalition forces, which has become critical to capability during the pandemic.

“A large part of my role here is working with the medical, quarantine and command teams, advising and planning the response to COVID-19. This includes planning for and supporting quarantine arrangements for members moving into, within and out of theatre,” Flight Lieutenant Lowndes said.

“It’s very interesting. With so many moving pieces at play, it’s incredibly rewarding.”

Focusing on responses to COVID-19 is one of her many duties.

“I perform weekly water testing to ensure it is suitable for consumption and use. Other duties range from providing advice on heat stress through to monitoring for potential noise, chemical, dust, asbestos, sewerage and mould exposures,” Flight Lieutenant Lowndes said.

She has also acquired new skills in the strong medical team environment, such as aeromedical evacuation configuration and planning.

“I am also on call for airfield emergency health responses in case of an aircraft emergency. I advise on the required personal protective equipment and decontamination process for first responders,” Flight Lieutenant Lowndes said.

She joined the ADF in 2013 on an undergraduate scholarship while studying public health at Griffith University, majoring in Environmental Health and Sustainability.

“I always wanted an interesting and active job where every day would be different and wanted the opportunity to help people and travel the world. The job is diverse and always finds a way to challenge you, which is why I love it,” Flight Lieutenant Lowndes said.

Operation Accordion is the ADF’s overarching support mission to Operations Highroad, Okra, Manitou and other activities in the Middle East. Operation Accordion also enables contingency planning and the enhancement of regional relationships.

Learn more about Flight Lieutenant Lowndes’ role at defencejobs.gov.au/jobs/air-force/environmental-health-manager