No let-up in a busy year

No let-up in a busy year

From the Australian bushfires to managing COVID-19 quarantine requirements in the Middle East, Leading Aircraftwoman Tyler Thamm’s year has taken her from one operation to the next. 

Currently deployed on Operation Accordion at Australia’s main operating base as a personnel capability specialist (PCS), Leading Aircraftwoman Thamm is operating in a specific cell providing support to members requiring quarantine before they move forward into other areas of operation.

She spent the start of her year attached to Operation Bushfire Assist before deploying to the Middle East region. 

“It’s been a busy year to say the least, not at all what I expected,” Leading Aircraftwoman Thamm said. 

“At my squadron back home, I was put on Operation Bushfire Assist, which kicked off the year to a very busy start prior to deploying. 

“Now that I’m over here, my role has evolved again from a PCS in the Theatre Personnel Support Centre to a specific team responsible for managing COVID-19, reducing the impact to our operations here in the Middle East.

“We look after the coordination and administration of members moving in and out of theatre, requiring isolation. 

“Duties that fall under this section are things such as liaising with a variety of different deployed units to ensure that a member’s accommodation, medical appointments, meals, movements and relevant documentation is processed to enable members to move forward.”

Leading Aircraftwoman Thamm said while her deployment had been different to what she expected, from a professional development point of view, it had presented new opportunities. 

“I have been eager to deploy since I joined but I most definitely didn’t expect to be deployed in the current climate, and having all the additional restrictions added has made it a unique experience,” she said.

“This would have to have been the most exposure I have had to a triservice environment. Not only is there constant liaising with the different services but there is a lot of rank disparity and contact with high-ranking positions that I haven’t previously had exposure to. 

“As a PCS in the workforce at home, you generally look after the personnel within your own unit, whereas here, personnel are coming from all different places and have all different requirements that need to be met.”

While it had been hard being away from her family, Leading Aircraftwoman Thamm was proud of how hard her husband was working to look after their children back home. 

“My husband is doing an amazing job in working full time and looking after both of our children on his own,” she said.

“We have two boys aged 10 and one. It’s definitely been hard being away from them throughout this period, especially when they’re both reaching milestones I’m missing. 

“We don’t have any family support permanently located in our area, so that in conjunction with the current climate has been an additional challenge, but he has seamlessly taken to his temporary role.”

Operation Accordion is the ADF’s overarching support mission to Operations Highroad, Okra, Manitou and other activities in the Middle East region.

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