A role of challenge, reward and ‘great mates’
Given the demanding role they play in our communities, firefighters have to be fit, so snowboarding, bushwalking and mountain bike riding are natural hobbies for frontline emergency personnel such as Leading Aircraftman Philip Huntley.
Towards the end of high school at Wodonga, in Victoria, Leading Aircraftman Huntley had an inkling joining the ADF would give him opportunities at home and abroad. He also knew a job as a firefighter in the Air Force would ensure he wasn’t stuck behind a desk and enable him to do something different every day.
His grandfather had served in the Army, but Leading Aircraftman Huntley always wanted an Air Force career.
“Day to day I have to be ready to respond to airfield emergencies or structural incidents on base when a fire alarm activates,” Leading Aircraftman Huntley said.
“But it’s not just about emergencies, we have to service our trucks and equipment and constantly upgrade our skills and knowledge with theory and practical training.
“Being busy makes the time go quickly and I can’t believe how many places the Air Force has sent me to work around Australia and the great mates I have made across the country.”
Based at RAAF Base Williamtown, Leading Aircraftman Huntley has been deployed to exercises and operations including to the Australian International Air Show at Avalon.
“Experiencing the world’s best aircraft as part of the ADF contingent to the air show and having the opportunity to meet my then Chief, Air Marshal [Leo] Davies, was a great thrill,” he said.
“Being a part of the ADF and specifically the Royal Australian Air Force means being a part of the best organisation in Australia.
“We are well looked after with many opportunities as part of a pretty tight team.”
Planning is underway for the commemoration of the Royal Australian Air Force’s formation in March 1921. For further information, visit: airforce.gov.au/100