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RAAF welcomes new specialist reservists

New specialist reservists have joined the Air Force after completing their initial induction course at RAAF Base Wagga.

New specialist reservists have joined the Air Force after completing their initial induction course at RAAF Base Wagga.

The Royal Australian Air Force has welcomed 18 new specialist reservists, which include a forensic dentist, emergency physician, physiotherapist, Qantas pilot, chaplain, Indigenous liaison officer, legal officers and public affairs officers. 

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Director of the Workforce Integration, Group Captain Joanna Elkington, said the new recruits would provide the RAAF with critical capability when required.

“Specialist reservists bring years of experience, expertise and training from their civilian careers, supplementing Air Force’s capability in the fulltime force,” GPCAPT Elkington said. 

“They are a critical part of Air Force’s workforce and we warmly welcome our newest officers.” 

Squadron Leader Andrew Marks, who is among the new reservists, currently works as a staff specialist anaesthetist at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital.

“Following the Boxing Day Tsunami, I witnessed how the Australian Defence Force provided medical assistance in Sumatra, which involved undertaking 70 aero-medical evacuations and providing 3,700 medical treatments,” SQNLDR Marks said. 

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“I was drawn to this type of humanitarian work and the opportunity to use my skills in a completely different environment.” 

He is now posted to No. 3 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. 

Flying Officer Owen Zupp, a commercial Qantas pilot with 20,000 flight hours, was also among the new cohort.

FLGOFF Zupp was inspired to join the RAAF reservists by his father’s flying career with No. 77 Squadron during the Korean War.

“My father, Flying Officer Phillip Zupp, flew 201 fighter missions during the Korean War after having initially trained as a navigator with the RAAF in World War II,” he said.

“My dad also served in New Guinea with the Army’s 2/10 Cavalry Commando Squadron and the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan.

“My mother, Corporal Edith Blight, served as a radar operator with the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force in World War II before re-enlisting post-war as part of the first Women’s Royal Australian Air Force recruit course.” 

FLGOFF Zupp has been tasked with working as a flight instructor with Cadet Branch’s Elementary Flight Training School at RAAF Base Richmond and supporting Air Force’s centenary year writing project.

[Related: Reservists recognised for ADF contribution]

RAAF welcomes new specialist reservists
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