Dad on duty to help with vital task

Dad on duty to help with vital task

As a musician in the Air Force Band, Leading Aircraftman Callum Moncrieff is used to wearing many hats.

His current deployment to Operation COVID-19 Assist is yet another challenge in his varied career and one that means the busy dad may not be able to spend this Father’s Day with his children. 

Originally from Adelaide, Leading Aircraftman Moncrieff is a drummer and percussionist, edits the band newsletter, Advance in Review, and drives the truck to gigs.

“My primary role as a snare drum player is on parade and in ceremonial tasks, ” Leading Aircraftman Moncrieff said.

“On parade, you’ll see me giving directions to the band with a tap on my drum.”

With Operation COVID-19 Assist, Leading Aircraftman Moncrieff works evening shifts as a team supervisor, helping the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with contact-tracing, as well as training new Defence members joining the operation.

“It has been a good opportunity for me to utilise some of my other skills,” he said.

“I’m in an environment where I can really do something that is important and make a difference.

“Being praised by our chain of command and senior staff at the DHHS has made me really proud to be a part of this operation.”

Even though Leading Aircraftman Moncrieff is deployed less than 10km from his family home in Melbourne, the nature of the operation means he’s unable to go home and may not be home for Father’s Day. 

“I think from a mental point of view it’s been a challenge not being able to go home despite being so close,” he said.

“I don’t know if I will be home for Father’s Day this year but whatever happens, I am very proud to be able to support the ADF and the people of Melbourne and Victoria.”

While he’s away from home, Leading Aircraftman Moncrieff will continue to make daily video calls to daughter Daphne and son Quinn. 

“We always say goodbye with a kiss on the screen, which really breaks my heart but I am so lucky to have this kind of technology. I think this deployment would be much more difficult without it, ” he said.

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