Not many Air Force officers get the chance to work on an Army base, let alone deploy to a United Nations mission.
Air traffic controller Flight Lieutenant Leigh Angus is from No. 452 Squadron, which is a lodger unit at the Army Aviation Training Centre in Oakey, Queensland. He has been deployed to Operation Aslan in South Sudan.
Flight Lieutenant Angus said being able to develop his aviation experience within a United Nations deployment context was a unique experience.
“I’m responsible for planning and scheduling daily flying activities for the mission, Flight Lieutenant Angus said.
“I have to work out the most efficient use of resources, taking into account cargo loading, flight times and potential last-minute changes due to weather or priority tasking.
“On assigned duty days, I take on the aviation duty officer role and am responsible for keeping the plan on track."
Flight Lieutenant Angus said one of the most satisfying parts of his role was using his air operations skills in an emergency.
“This role is critical during a medical evacuation, when quick coordination and precise planning is paramount in order to move a patient to safety and potentially save a life,” Flight Lieutenant Angus said.
“It has been rewarding. I have helped organise flights to fly a medical evacuation out of country, as well as move troops last minute into a conflict area to stabilise.”
Flight Lieutenant Angus said he was looking forward to getting home to his partner.
“I’m looking forward to relaxing and having a bit of peace and quiet in my house,” Flight Lieutenant Angus said.
“These are the little things that we can’t do easily over here and I miss them.”
Operation Aslan is the Defence Force's contribution to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
The ADF's commitments assists the UN to implement its mandate through the protection of civilians, monitoring and investigating human rights violations and creating the conditions to enable the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
The ADF has contributed personnel to the mission since September 2011.