As an aircraft loader, Corporal Corey O’Shannessy is used to doing his job all over the world. He has also completed three deployments to the Middle East, but his current deployment to RAAF Base Amberley is one he’s particularly proud to undertake.

Leading a small mobile air load team from No. 96 Wing’s No. 13 Squadron in Darwin, Corporal O’Shannessy and his team are supporting No. 23 Squadron’s air movement tasking.

Air movements from the base at Amberley have significantly increased in response to Operation Bushfire Assist as the Air Force moves heavy equipment and personnel to New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, including Kangaroo Island and all other regions devastated by the bushfires.

“I think I speak for the rest of my team in that we’re all proud to come down from Darwin to help out with Operation Bushfire Assist,” Corporal O’Shannessy said.

“The team here in Amberley has been doing a great job. We’ve been running two shifts a day, roughly eight to nine hour shifts.

“My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by the bushfires. Hopefully we can help get them back on their feet soon.”

“I’m really proud of the efforts that everyone has put in so far. My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by the bushfires. Hopefully we can help get them back on their feet soon.”

Growing up in Old Bar, a coastal town near Taree on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, Corporal O’Shannessy worked as a baker for 12 years before hanging up his apron and joining the Air Force in 2009.

“I decided to take a different avenue and the idea of loading aircraft, travelling around the world and no two days being the same appealed to me,” he said.

In support of Operation Bushfire Assist, a mobile air load team from New Zealand will soon be integrated with Corporal O’Shannessy’s team.

“I enjoy working with coalition forces,” Corporal O’Shannessy said.

“I’ve worked with New Zealand air loaders in the Middle East and they’ve always been great. I appreciate them coming here to support us. I’d gladly do the same to support them.”