Flight Lieutenant Michael Truscott, Flight Sergeant Russell Vine and Squadron Leader John Millar at the main logistics base in the Middle East. This image is a composite of three photographs.
On the 99th
birthday of the Royal Australian Air Force, three personnel deployed on
Operation Accordion with more than 99 years of combined experience have
reflected on how the Air Force has changed during their careers.
Russell Vine, who is deployed as the Visa Coordination Cell Second in Command,
joined the Air Force in 1984 as a clerk medical.
Throughout his 36
years in the orderly room he has witnessed type writers become computers,
filing cabinets become floppy disks and the pay line migrate to PmKeys.
“A to K, L to Z,
lining up every fortnight to collect your pay. I was a V so I was always right
down the back waiting for my pay in the envelope,” Flight Sergeant Vine said.
Having worn a few
different uniforms in the past 30-odd years, one stands out to him.
“I miss the
‘drabs’, or tropical dress as it was known,” he said. “In two postings to
Butterworth I used to wear the drab shorts, the drab shirt and the long socks.”
John Millar enlisted in 1988 as a direct entry tradesman, posting to No. 5
Squadron at RAAF Fairbairn to work on Iroquois helicopters.
In a career
spanning 32 years he has since gone on to instruct recruits, maintain a variety
of aircraft and is a former Warrant Officer of the Air Force.
Millar said no single experience stood out because his whole career had been
“From 1988 to 2020
I’ve seen the Air force change dramatically thanks to the technological
enhancement,” Squadron Leader Millar said.
“The greatest thing
I do is work with young people. They are smart and they are the Air Force of
tomorrow. You see the excitement in their eyes and I know the Air Force is in
Michael Truscott joined under the RAAF apprentice scheme in 1983 and was an
aircraft technician initially on P3 Orion and a variety of other roles before
After 37 years
Flight Lieutenant Truscott is on his first operational deployment in the Middle
East, where he works as the Assistant Host Nation Liaison Officer.
He said the
opportunity to deploy had been a highlight of his career and he has enjoyed the
“Put your hand up and take opportunities as they arise, don’t sit back and wait for other people to do things, and experience as much as you can,” he said.