Going away for an exercise can really benefit one’s career; for Leading Aircraftman Matthew Pearson it also means looking forward to a home cooked meal with his family at the end.
CAPTION: Leading Aircraftman Matthew Pearson, Airfield Defence Guard from No. 1 Security Force, on the flight line at RAAF Base Townsville, during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021. Story by Flight Lieutenant Suellen Heath. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Emma Schwenke.
During a busy exercise period, especially during a global pandemic, returning home is not always easy, however, airfield defence guard, Leading Aircraftman Pearson, got lucky when he was told he would be deploying to Townsville for Exercise Talisman Sabre 21 (TS21).
Currently posted to No. 1 Security Forces Squadron in Williamtown, NSW, Leading Aircraftman Pearson said he is a proud Torres Strait Islander with the Royal Australian Air Force.
“My island home is Hammond Island, however I have spent most my life in Townsville where my parents and sister live,” Leading Aircraftman Pearson said.
“I have spent many years in Townsville, including attending St Teresa College, Abergowrie from 2011 to 2015, where I graduated Year 12 and then went on to study at TAFE, while I went through the Australian Defence Force recruitment process.”
To ensure he maintained his fitness and was physically prepared to be an Airfield Defence Guard, Leading Aircraftman Pearson played rugby league for Herbert River Crushers in Ingham.
“I have a lot of family in the Australian Defence Force, including my brothers, which gave me the incentive that I too could enjoy life in the Australian Defence Force and challenge myself to see what I am truly capable of,” Leading Aircraftman Pearson said.
“Throughout my career so far I’ve participated in six exercises that allowed me to see parts of Australia I never thought I would, and I have been overseas conducting Aircraft Security Operations.”
“This is the first time I have participated in an Exercise Talisman Sabre, which will further develop my security knowledge and combat skills on an airbase.”
“With these skills and knowledge, I am better able to support other critical capabilities, such as Military Working Dog Handlers and Airbase Protection.”