Recognised for service excellence, Communication Electronic Technician Corporal Daniel Loane has been named the Air Force Airman of the Year for 2020.

Corporal Loane’s leadership, exemplary judgement and technical mastery led to the award nomination, supported by his significant service contribution to Operation COVID-19 Assist.  
 
He joined the Air Force in 2011 and is based at RAAF Base Darwin as the No. 114 Mobile Control and Reporting Unit (114MCRU) maintenance manager within the tactical air defence system section. 
 
Reflecting on his career, Corporal Loane said military service played a significant role in his personal development and he was honoured to receive the Airman of the Year Award.
 
“In today’s RAAF, becoming a confident speaker, leader, coach, mentor and manager are all part of standard progression and you receive all the resources you need to achieve success in your life,” Corporal Loane said. 
 
“I thought that being ‘the nomination’ from 114MCRU was a great win. To be held in a high regard by my colleagues and chain of command is a job well done kind of thing. 
 
“I don’t know if there is any greater confidence that can be bestowed on someone in my position as a relatively new corporal. It makes me feel confident in my ability, trusted by the organisation to be a role model for those around me and encourages me to share what I have learned and experienced.”
 
Corporal Loane said his nomination referred to his response to a civilian vehicle accident near the remote Northern Territory checkpoint he worked at for the operation.
 
“As Joint Task Unit 629.7.2 detachment commander at the remote Tanami checkpoint in the Northern Territory I was certainly out of my technician comfort zone, however, to be a part of a whole-of-government operation was an amazing experience and one that I am proud to have been involved in,”  he said. 
 
“Ensuring the safety of civilian commuters on that day and assisting them on their safe return to their loved ones, was an honour and a privilege.” 
 
Corporal Loane’s proactive approach to community engagement across the region during his deployment laid strong foundations for a closer relationship with the ADF and the community into the future, demonstrating leadership beyond his worn rank.
 
Commanding Officer 114MCRU Wing Commander Sean Gell said Corporal Loane’s technical mastery and collaborative approach ensured the generation of a positive learning culture toward the delivery of capability for mission success.
 
“Corporal Loane set an exceptional standard throughout 2020 and, with a significantly reduced team, maintained the section output while fostering an exceptional rapport with the operations team,” Wing Commander Gell said.
 
“The net result of this has been an open and frank dialogue that provides the operators with an enhanced understanding of system faults and remediation while consolidating the trust between the two sections – genuinely creating a single team, focused on the effective delivery of Air Force capability.
 
“Additionally, his development and implementation of the Mobile Control and Reporting Unit deployment guide has ensured that his efforts to drive technical mastery will endure beyond his tenure within the unit.”
 
Reflecting Defence Values through his service contributions and community efforts, Corporal Loane also regularly volunteers to represent Air Force within the wider community. This, together with all of his service achievements throughout 2020 were collectively recognised as part of his nomination.   
 
“I join with 114MCRU in congratulating Corporal Loane as a worthy recipient of the award. His initiative and RAAF bearing are an example to his peers and of great benefit to the Air Force. 114MCRU is proud of his achievements,” Wing Commander Gell said.
 
Commander Surveillance and Response Group Air Commodore Barbara Courtney also extended her congratulations to Corporal Loane.
 
“As Commander of our incredible Surveillance and Response Group team, it gives me no greater pleasure than to witness the acknowledgement of our bright young talent and the incredible work they do,” Air Commodore Courtney said.
 
“Corporal Loane’s commitment to the continual improvement of 114MCRU capability, and his superior performance as a corporal has been exceptional, and he can be justly proud of his efforts."
 
The Air Vice Marshal B.A. Eaton 'Airman of the Year' Award is awarded to an airman of the rank of corporal or below to recognise the calibre of the individual and their significant contribution to the Service and community.

The full list of award winners are: 

  • Air Force APS Team Member of the Year Award: Michael Docherty, Air Force Training Group, awarded to an APS employee who exemplifies APS and Air Force values and makes an outstanding contribution to Air Force.
  • Chief of Air Force Instructor of the Year Award: Flight Lieutenant Adon Lumley, Air Mission Training School, this award highlights the unquestionable importance of training and education to the Air Force and formally recognises the commissioned officer who has excelled in this field.
  • Warrant Officer of the Air Force Instructor of the Year Award: Sergeant Bree Godfrey, School of Postgraduate Studies, this award highlights the unquestionable importance of training and education to the Air Force and formally recognises the instructor who has excelled in this field.
  • Her Majesty the Queen’s Gold Medal: Pilot Officer Cameron Clark, No. 79 Squadron, awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the most outstanding officer trainee from OTS or ADFA to recognise exemplary conduct, outstanding performance of duty, and influence on fellow officers.
  • Squadron Leader WT Riggs Trophy: Sergeant Chris Dickson, No. 464 Squadron, awarded for the best official photograph of the year. 
  • Lipshut Family Bursary: Corporal Megan MacAuslan, Defence Force Recruiting, provides an education bursary to an outstanding airman or airwoman of the rank of corporal and below.
  • Air Force Association Trophy: Headquarters Air Force Training Group, awarded for proficiency and contribution by Force Element Groups and Wing Headquarters.
  • Duke of Gloucester Cup: No. 10 Squadron, awarded to the most proficient flying squadron.
  • Hawker Siddeley Trophy: No. 26 Squadron, awarded to the most proficient unit with primarily whole-of-base functions.  
  • Markowski Cup: No. 3 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, awarded to the most proficient specialist support unit. 
  • RAAF Maintenance Trophy: No. 36 Squadron, awarded to the most proficient Air Force maintenance unit in recognition of their engineering and technical excellence.   
  • Stonehaven Trophy: Air Mobility Training and Development Unit, awarded to the most proficient training unit.