Avionics Technician Corporal Dan Zaniol has been awarded a Conspicuous Service Medal in this year's Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his support of the Australian Defence Force's air combat electronic warfare capability.

Corporal Zaniol joined the Navy in 2002 and transferred to the Air Force in 2010. 

Before his current posting at Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Unit at RAAF Edinburgh in South Australia, he worked for No. 81 Wing Avionics Maintenance Facility, in the Electronics Counter Measures Section, where the Joint Service Combat Systems Tester (JSECST) was supported and maintained for Air Combat Group. 

The JSECST provides squadrons and repair depots with a capability to check for faults and verify the operational status of electronic combat systems installed in aircraft.

“The JSECST suffered greatly from reliability and software issues that had become increasingly prominent throughout its service life and was very temperamental for its users,” Corporal Zaniol said.

“I felt it was important to rectify and improve the overall performance for its stakeholders."

Once key contributing factors were prioritised, an action plan was developed. 

“This led to identifying and implementing new-generation test equipment, creating new procedures, rectifying software faults, improving training and awareness and applying a suitable tracking system to manage critical components,” Corporal Zaniol said.

“Technicians can now confidently use the upgraded JSECST to conduct functional testing of electronic combat systems installed to the aircraft for optimal operation.” 

Corporal Zaniol’s family has a history of military service.

His grandfather and great uncle served in the ADF. 

“My great grandfather started this tradition after being conscripted to serve during WWI,” Corporal Zaniol said.

“I have always felt a sense of honour to our service men and women for the sacrifices they have given to our country.

“I never dreamt that one day I would see my name in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List as a recipient of the Conspicuous Service Medal.

“I would like to thank everyone involved with the JSECST rectification and upgrade — I worked with a lot of people locally and abroad to deliver an improved system.

“I feel deeply honoured to receive such a significant award.”