Service Warrant Officers take to the skies

This article has photo gallery Published on FLGOFF Nat Giles (author), CPL Peter Borys (photographer)

Warrant Officer of the Navy Martin Holzberger strapped in the back seat ready for his familiarization flight in an F/A-18 Hornet at RAAF Williamtown. (photo: CPL Peter Borys)
Warrant Officer of the Navy Martin Holzberger strapped in the back seat ready for his familiarization flight in an F/A-18 Hornet at RAAF Williamtown.
As part of an ongoing drive to get a better understanding of life in each arm of the Australian Defence Force, Warrant Officer of the Navy Martin Holzberger took to the skies with his counterparts.
 
In late May, aircrew from Air Force’s 77 SQN at RAAF Base Williamtown showed Warrant Officer of the Navy Holzberger, Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army WO David Ashley and Warrant Officer of the Air Force Mark Pentreath the specifics of flying and maintaining the F/A-18A Classic Hornet.
 
They were taken through the full suite of pre-flight checks by the medical staff at 2 Expeditionary Health Squadron before heading to Aircraft Life Support for their safety equipment fitting. 
 
They also undertook extensive safety and mission briefings before take off. 
 
The warrant officers were impressed with the comprehensive daily preparation required before each mission, undertaken by the professional officers, airmen and women of the Air Force.
 
“I was really surprised by the technical requirement just to get dressed, it takes a lot of time and has many complex aspects to it,” Warrant Officer of the Navy Holzberger said. 
 
“Getting this opportunity has definitely helped me to better understand the Air Force and the way these very professional men and women go about their work.” 
 
The flight exposed them to the daily duties of medics, maintainers, aircrew and logisticians. 
 
Warrant Officer of the Air Force Pentreath said he was apprehensive about flying but excited to show Air Force to his Navy and Army colleagues. 
 
“I am especially proud to be showing the other warrant officers how the Air Force works as a team, how a squadron operates together and how the many areas contribute to deliver air power,” he said.
 
The familiarisation flights were conducted as part of a continuing campaign by the Service Warrant Officers to improve the way the services work together and to understand the differing experiences of personnel in each uniform. 
 
This research allows them to better represent the requirements of the Australian Defence Force in their leadership roles.